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UK’s Corby CCGT electricity plant converted to run as OCGT

04 Sep 2012 17:30:49 | edem esgm

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The Corby combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) electricity station is the latest UK plant to be converted to run as a more efficient open-cycle gas turbine (OCGT) plant, data from balancing code company Elexon show.

From 12:00 local time on Tuesday, Elexon data have been changed to reflect Corby's new maximum export limit of 225MW, down from 338MW.

A source at ESBI said that it took quite a while for the station to gain all correct licencing from the Environmental Agency to convert to OCGT.

The source said: "We were a bit slow on deciding, but it's well out of the money CCGT-wise."

Like other older CCGT plants, spark spreads have been too low to justify running. Centrica's Peterborough and Rooscotte plants have been converted to run as OCGT (see EDEM 22 August 2012). Corby is one of the last economically viable plants in the UK's merit list to convert to OCGT from CCGT, according to the source.

High profit margins for coal-fired power stations have partly put the squeeze on OCGT plants, but newer, more efficient plants coming on line this year, such as RWE's 2GW Pembroke, also have pushed older plants to the margins. Analysts estimate that the UK could lose 5.4GW of generating capacity by the end of 2012 (see EDEM 26 July 2012).

While spark spreads showed some signs of improving in recent months (see graph), only the newer, efficient plant is likely to take advantage, market sources have said. Winter '12 clean spark spreads also have started to weaken. FOR

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