Installation of the Turbine Unit of the Power Plant in Grudziądz Is Underway

The progress of all works – design, procurement, supply and construction of the gas and steam power plant in Grudziądz – is already approaching 80 percent. One of the most important processes is currently underway at the main site of the power plant, namely the installation of the turbine unit, which will form the heart of the investment. Owned by Energa of the ORLEN Group, the CCGT Grudziądz power plant under construction will be able to power up to 1 million households in the future.

Between January and April, key parts of the power plant were transported to the construction site in Grudziądz. Weighing a total of more than 1,100 tons, these are the main components of the turbine unit, i.e. gas turbine, steam turbine, and the generator. The first two parts arrived to Grudziądz from factories in Germany, while the generator came from the United States. They were transported both by land and water – by sea and river. Assembly of the main machines began in May, when they were placed on their foundations. The works are expected to be completed with the start of the unit’s test commissioning, which is planned for 2025.

How turbine components work

The gas turbine is the most important component that is the power plant’s drive source. Its operating principle makes it a device directly comparable to jet engines used in aviation. The task of the gas turbine is to convert the chemical energy of the fuel (natural gas) into mechanical energy (rotating shaft), which will then be used to drive the generator. The product of the turbine’s operation (as a result of fuel combustion) is also the thermal energy of the combustion gases, which, when directed to the heat recovery steam generator (HRSG), are used to generate steam at high pressure and temperature. This, in turn, is used to drive the steam turbine. High operating efficiency and the ability to respond quickly to changes in energy demand make gas turbines key components of today’s power systems.

A steam turbine is a machine that allows you to convert the thermal energy of steam produced in a heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) into mechanical energy (rotating shaft) to drive the generator. At the Grudziądz CCGT power plant, the steam turbine will consist of two separate parts – bodies; these will be a common body of the high and medium-pressure parts of the turbine and a separate body of the low-pressure turbine. For a single-shaft turbine unit configuration, as is the case at the Grudziądz power plant, both gas and steam turbines will drive a common generator.

Steam turbines are at the heart of power generation in many types of power plants, both conventional and nuclear. Their role is to expand high-pressure, high-temperature steam, which, driving the turbine rotor, is eventually converted into water. This conversion takes place in the condenser, a terminal device located at the outlet of the steam turbine. The steam turbine contributes to the efficient and stable generation of energy in the power plant.

The generator is a key device, which – thanks to its location in the central part of the turbine unit – is driven from both sides by turbines, both gas and steam. The generator converts the mechanical energy generated by the turbines into the power plant’s end product, i.e. electrical power. Electrical power production in the generator occurs as a result of rotation of the generator rotor in a magnetic field, where energy is generated according to Faraday’s principle of electromagnetic induction. The rotor of the power plant’s generator in Grudziądz will rotate at an impressive 50 revolutions per second. This is due to its design and the frequency of the grid current, which is 50 Hz in Poland.

The generator of the Grudziądz power plant, thanks to synchronisation with the national power grid, will provide the ability to stabilise the key parameters of its operation (power, frequency and voltage), ensuring availability and safe supply of energy to end users.   

Works as per the schedule

The contract for the construction of the Grudziądz power plant was concluded with its general contractor (a consortium of Siemens Energy and Metlen Energy & Metals S.A. (previously Mytilineos S.A.)) in May 2022. The cornerstone for the power plant was laid a year later, in May 2023. Since then, two years after the agreement, all the major foundations and structures necessary for the installation of the unit’s key equipment have been built in Grudziądz. The works carried out so far: the main components of the turbine unit have been placed on the foundations; the huge modules that make up the heat recovery steam generator have been assembled; the block transformer has been installed on the workstation; the pipelines have been built and the main part of the water fan cooler structure has been assembled.

Each day, hundreds of workers continue the process of erecting more buildings, structures, facilities and installations for further power plant equipment. In addition to the main site, works also continue on Skowronkowa Street. Contractors working for the construction of the power plant are implementing gas, water and electrical power transmission systems. In addition, the CCGT Grudziądz company is preparing, in cooperation with the Grudziądz Municipal Roads Authority and the road investment contractor, to begin works on redevelopment of public roads located in the vicinity of the power plant under construction.

The importance of the investment in Grudziądz

The Grudziądz investment will be one of the largest and most modern power plants of its kind in Poland, contributing to Poland’s energy security and decarbonisation of the energy generation sector.

Gas-steam power plants are characterised by high flexibility and the ability to quickly transition from shut-down to full capacity. These are critical features for an electric power system with rapidly growing renewable sources. In the event of a risk of a power deficit, such as due to unfavourable weather conditions for RES production, CCGT units can make up for the shortage by efficiently balancing electrical power production.

Therefore, both renewables and low-carbon gas-fired power plants are two key pillars of Energa’s development strategy until the end of 2030, complementary to the ORLEN2030 Strategy.