EDF Energy, which operates eight nuclear power stations in the UK, has awarded a contract for availability (CFA) to Sulzer for the maintenance and continued support of the boiler feed pumps at the Heysham 2 plant, near Morecambe in the North West of England. The contract provides a fixed cost to ensure optimum availability of these critical assets, thus maximising the reliability of supply from the generating plant.
The nuclear stations play an important role in an increasingly demanding electricity supply market in the UK. The contract for availability concentrates on minimising down-time for the boiler feed pumps, which were manufactured by Sulzer. Applying a preventative maintenance strategy to the equipment reduces the risk of service issues and promotes continued productivity, which is beneficial to both EDF Energy and Sulzer.
Jerry Wood, Power Sales Manager UK & Ireland for Sulzer, explained: “The boiler feed pumps have a direct impact on the amount of energy generated by the power station. Therefore, if the pumps perform to expectation and annual energy output is on target, then there is a benefit for both sides of the partnership.
“The benefit of this contract for the generating plant is reliability. From our perspective, Sulzer maintains a constant presence on site, ensuring that other influences do not impact on the performance of the boiler feed pumps. At the same time, we uphold the highest standards of health and safety in every aspect of our work, as expected on any work site, but especially in a nuclear power facility.”
Sulzer has an engineer permanently on-site to manage the day-to-day operation of the contract and to work with the maintenance team on site, as well as offering expert advice on other pumping assets. In addition, the facility has access to expert technical support from the Sulzer pump manufacturing facility, which can also mobilise field service engineers at very short notice to assist with any immediate issues outside of the contract.
Sulzer was originally awarded a maintenance contract in 2006 to support the boiler feed pumps. Since then the contract has been reviewed and the scope has been expanded to include additional pumps, replicating the operational improvements that have been delivered so far. The renewed contract was signed in 2016 and is expected to run for the next five years, with a review every 12 months.