The 300-tonne colossus has arrived at the construction site of the CCGT Grudziądz power plant

Another important part of the Grudziądz power plant project has arrived at the construction site. We are talking about the gas turbine, which is the most important element that forms the heart of this project. A project that is important for the National Power System, but also for the residents of the Kuyavian-Pomeranian region. Owned by the company Energa from the ORLEN Group, the Grudziądz power plant will be able to power up to 1 million households in the future, making a visible contribution to Poland’s energy security as well as the transformation of Poland’s electricity generation sector. The construction is scheduled for completion next year, and the current state of advancement of works exceeded 70 percent in March.

The investment project is implemented by CCGT Grudziądz, a company that belongs to Energa from the ORLEN Group, in cooperation with General Contractor, consortium of SIMENS ENERGY and MYTILINEOS Energy & Metals. Siemens Energy is a company located in 90 countries, they are operating across the whole energy landscape. From conventional to renewable power, from grid technology to storage to electrifying complex industrial processes. At the same time MYTILINEOS is a multinational industrial and energy company, which solidified its reputation through successful execution of thermal energy projects across Europe, Asia, and Africa. General Contractor, thanks to combination of experience both consortium partners, they are combining their expertise with CCGT Grudziądz for Project success.

The SGT5-4000F gas turbine, which is one of the most technically advanced machines of its kind in the world, was manufactured at Siemens Energy’s factory in Berlin, Germany. From there, it was transported by barge to Hamburg, then by ship to the port of Gdansk, to complete the final leg of its journey to Grudziądz again on a barge, this time on the Vistula River. Since this transport was unique in its size – taking into account the infrastructure available in Grudziądz – it was necessary to prepare a special wharf for its needs, allowing the unloading of the turbine, weighing more than 300 tons, to be carried out safely. It took three days to transport the gas turbine from Gdańsk to Grudziądz. The barge, which was accompanied by two tugboats tasked with propelling it safely and efficiently, was at the time traversing the strong current of the river with its huge cargo. As a result, the speed at which the barge moved to its destination fluctuated between 8 and 12 kilometers per hour. 

“A walk with the turbine” in Grudziądz

The gas turbine, having reached the city by barge, was safely unloaded at the wharf. From there, it set off for the final stage of its journey, already on land, through the streets of the city, straight to the construction site of the power plant. This unprecedented event in the history of Grudziądz took place on the night of March 26-27, arousing the interest of residents who accompanied the turbine on its passage through the city. The transport of the turbine on the final leg of its journey was carried out using a highly specialised 10-axle, 80-wheel platform designed for transporting huge cargoes of this type. Powered by a special diesel-hydraulic drive, this vehicle was radio-controlled by an operator marching right alongside the machine. Due to the need to ensure precise control of such a massive set, the speed of the vehicle was approximately 5 kilometers per hour.

The transport of the gas turbine through Grudziądz itself required detailed coordination and cooperation with the city authorities and municipal companies, including in particular the Municipal Roads Administration and the Grudziądz Municipal Transportation Department. In order to move such a huge cargo in the streets, it was necessary to: exclude part of the roads from use, change the organisation and route of part of the public transport, temporarily dismantle road signs that collided with the cargo, as well as raise the tramway overhead power supply located on the route of the turbine. Thanks to the smooth execution of the preparatory works, as well as the implementation of the transport during the night, this very complicated logistical operation was carried out safely, without generating undue inconvenience for residents.

Gas turbine as a key component of the power plant

The gas turbine is a key component of the combined cycle power plant under construction in Grudziądz. Its task is to convert the chemical energy of the fuel (natural gas) into mechanical energy (rotating shaft), which will then be used to drive a generator that will produce the final product of the power plant – electricity.

Moreover, to convey the scale of the enormous power of the gas turbine that has been delivered to Grudziądz, it is worth using some symbolic comparison. One of the world’s largest passenger airliners, the Boeing 747 (also colloquially known as the Jumbo Jet) can reach a power output (from thrust units) of 230,000 horsepower, which is produced by four huge turbojet engines. If such an aircraft were to provide the CCGT Grudziądz power plant with power comparable to that achieved by the SGT5-4000F gas turbine manufactured by Siemens Energy, two huge Jumbo Jets would be needed on the site.

This comparison shows the enormous power of the machine that in recent days has been transported through the streets of Grudziądz to the power plant under construction on Skowronkowa Street.

The third key component of the turbine unit is on its way

The site of the power plant under construction in Grudziądz already has both turbines – the steam turbine and the gas turbine delivered in recent days. In order to complete the delivery of all the most important components of the turbine unit under construction at the power plant, it is still necessary to deliver the generator, which is currently transported from the Siemens Energy’s plant in Charlotte (USA). In the coming weeks, the machine with a weight of approximately 400 tons, will begin its journey down the Vistula River to Grudziądz, like it was with the gas turbine, after being delivered to Gdańsk.

2024 – a year full of important activities

The work on the construction of the power plant is proceeding as planned. In May last year, the cornerstone was laid for the power plant’s foundation. A lot has happened since then. The foundation and structures necessary for the erection of the unit’s key equipment have been built, including in particular: the currently delivered turbine unit and the heat recovery steam generator that is already on site, whose huge modules were delivered last year to Grudziądz from the port of Gdansk. In addition, the erection of further buildings, structures, and facilities for the subsequent elements of the power plant equipment has begun.

Currently, the power plant is undergoing the construction of buildings for, among others: electrical switchgears, water treatment stations, fan cooling tower, the control room and the administration building. In addition, systems are being built that will transfer cooling water, gas and electricity between the individual facilities of the power plant. Meanwhile, works related to the construction of transmission pipelines that will deliver water from the Vistula River to the power plant, as well as the construction of a gas pipeline that will deliver fuel to the power plant, are continuing around the facility. Later in 2024, the construction of an overhead power output line from the power plant will begin, through which 400,000 volts of electricity will flow directly into the National Power System.

Safety of the National Power System

The power unit in Grudziądz is one of the key investments of the ORLEN Group’s Energa in low-emission energy sources balancing the National Power System.

The investment in the gas-steam unit in Grudziądz will support the strategic goals of the energy transformation of both Poland and the ORLEN Group itself. In its energy segment, the Group aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 40% per MWh (megawatt hour) by 2030 and to achieve full carbon neutrality by 2050.

The Grudziądz power plant is also a production source that is important from the point of view of the Polish Transmission System Operator - Polskie Sieci Elektroenergetyczne (abbreviated PSE). In December 2021, CCGT Grudziądz entered into a 17-year contract with PSE within the power market, with the first year of providing power falling in 2026.