Experts in demand: Uniper making plans to conduct Schkopau plant maintenance


As an operator, we are familiar with our plants and our know-how is a guarantee that we're in the best position to take care of their maintenance

With its roughly 900 megawatt net output, the lignite-fired Schkopau plant supplies energy to both the public grid as well as to a nearby chemical plant and Deutsche Bahn. That’s what makes the plant a relevant component of the central German energy supply network. When overhauls are pending, detailed know-how and precision work are required in order to keep outages to an absolute minimum. That’s why we are making plans of our own to overhaul our plants. “As an operator, we are familiar with our plants and are certain that we have what it takes given our know-how,” explains maintenance chef Sylvio Sauer .

Planning for an overhaul of block B and the railway power turbines at the Schkopau plant has been underway for roughly a year, with work set to begin at the end of August. A team of technicians and engineers have been intensively engaged in detailed planning for several months. 3D scenarios are being used to help organize the work. During the eight to twelve weeks the two facilities are shut down, over 500 employees from partner companies will be working on testing and overhauling the facilities.

3D images of the railway-turbine -low-pressure-rotor into the turbine hall used for the revision


After 22 years of operation, several of the blades on the railway power turbines are showing signs of erosion. Hence the blades will be replaced during the overhaul in August. The maintenance and repair work involves extensive preparations, since upgrades to the low-pressure rotors have to be performed on site at the plant itself. This hasn’t been done before, but the weight, at 180 tons, and diameter of the rotors (5.4 meters) means that transporting the equipment elsewhere for overhaul isn’t an option. The medium pressure components will be sent to the manufacturing plant for overhaul. To get the job done, the team needs to have cranes that are precisely coordinated with each other, precision racks for storage, as well as the right kind of machinery. The TÜV [Technical Inspection Authority] will oversee and inspect every aspect of the overhaul and the use of certified construction materials.

The power plant annually converts up to six million tons of central German lignite into electricity and process steam. To achieve this, the co-generation plant uses two independently operating blocks. While block B and the railway power turbine are being overhauled, block A will continue supplying manufacturers, Deutsche Bahn and the public grid with power. This will allow the plant, which provides 8,760 hours of continuous operation annually, to meet all its contractual obligations while the overhaul is in progress.

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