Record-breaking Yorkshire turbineembarks on 120-mile power trip

Paul Jeeves

A GIANT steam turbine at the UK’s largest coal-fired power station which made industrial history almost half a century ago is to go on public display.

The 25-tonne engineering marvel has finished its working life at the Drax power station in North Yorkshire and part of it will be on show at Newcastle’s Discovery Museum.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The turbine made the 120-mile journey from Drax to a museum storage facility this week. It marks a homecoming for the turbine, which was designed and built by Parsons, the famous North-East engineering firm, in 1967.

The machine was at the time the most powerful high-speed turbine in the country, spinning at 3,000 revolutions a minute to produce 660-megawatts of electricity.

The North Yorkshire power station is undertaking a 100m steam turbine modernisation project. The upgrade is due to be completed in 2011, and will increase the station’s overall efficiency to almost 40 per cent, saving about a million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.

However, Drax provoked controversy last week when plans to burn greener fuel were suspended. The plant said the Government was not sufficiently funding biomass alternatives to coal. The power station supplies about seven per cent of the UK’s electricity needs.