Back Share Print

Stratford Peaker Project for Contact Energy

Delivering an efficient low emissions power plant to support New Zealand’s growth needs

Contact Energy
Contract Value
Project Duration
Commenced: 2008
Estimated Completion
New Zealand
Project Overview

The Stratford Power Station, located near New Plymouth on New Zealand’s North Island, produces 9% of the country’s total generation capacity and is able to deliver power to 200,000 homes. The station features low emission efficient gas turbine technology capable of producing 200MW of electricity through two LMS100TM gas turbines. The LMS100TM is GE Energy’s latest generation gas turbine designed specifically for the power industry.

UGL was contracted to install two LMS100TM units at Stratford Power Station, the first time this technology has been used in the Southern Hemisphere. UGL also designed, supplied, installed and commissioned the balance of plant elements.

The Challenge

Contact Energy required a solution that would provide New Zealand with a secure supply of electricity while also enabling the country to increase the level of electricity generated from renewable sources.

Contact Energy recognised that the strategic use of efficient, fast-start gas turbine units would be needed to support increasing volumes of weather-dependent renewables, such as wind generation. Employing a gas-fired power plant would also ensure the efficient use of natural gas resources and underpin the development of New Zealand’s renewable resources.

The Solution

Contact Energy signed a contract with UGL to project manage, engineer, and install the two peaking gas turbine units, and procure and install the balance of plant required to complete the project. 

Each LMS100™ turbine is a highly efficient peaking or base load generator which can deliver 100MW at 46% thermal efficiency in open cycle configuration. On start-up the LMS100TM can go from cold to full load in just 10 minutes.

The power train feature of the LMS100™ is an intercooler, a key contributor to the high efficiency. The cooled air flow from the intercooler lowers the air temperature in the high pressure compressor section of the turbine, increasing overall efficiency and power output. Furthermore, cooler air is used for turbine cooling and its reduced temperature allows for an increase in gas turbine firing temperature, also enhancing efficiency and raising power output.

The solutions scope of work also included:

  • Process, civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, instrumentation and controls design
  • Design undertaken in-house using UGL’s engineering capability with elements of the civil and structural design sub-contracted to a local New Zealand design consultant
  • Specification, procurement and installation of all balance of plant (BOP) equipment
  • Management of the site including safety, quality, environmental and industrial relations
  • Decommission of existing power station
  • Civil and structural works which included 7,200m3 of concrete and 2,000t of structural and reinforcing steel, plant foundations, cooling towers, buildings and steel structures
  • Mechanical and electrical works which included 13km of pipe work, over 700 valves, 180km of cabling and 30,000 terminations
  • Installation and assembly of the two GE LMS100TM gas turbine generators and auxiliary equipment
  • Control system design and integration
  • Testing, commissioning and performance testing


Key Outcomes and Benefits

The benefit to the client was they had a single supplier, UGL, who provided all the engineering, design, procurement, construction, installation, commissioning and testing of the complete Stratford Peaker Project works, including all mechanical, civil, electrical, control and other services required.

Contact Energy reduced risk and cost through the reduction in the number of interfaces provided by UGL’s complete project solution. From a single point of contact, UGL managed the entire Stratford Peaker Project beginning with in-housing engineering, procurement and construction through to start up and commissioning.

Key outcomes included:

  • Focusing on performance, compliance and environmental requirements as well as long-term cost-effectiveness, UGL was able to meet the most demanding standards of the environment, reliability, safety and quality when delivering this power generation solution
  • Costs were minimised through a collaborative delivery approach where the client was closely involved throughout all phases of the design development and review process providing a certainty of outcomes for the owner
  • Significant effort was placed on understanding life-cycle costs with procurement and selection of key equipment being areas of high focus
  • A fit for purpose solution was engineered through refinements made to the LMS100 turbine design and design interfaces tailored to meet Australian Standards
  • The LMS100 unit was a relatively new product and required extensive liaison between GE Power and UGL’s in-house engineering teams to develop and coordinate the design
  • A strengthened relationship with GE Power through several UGL engineers being seconded to GE Power’s design and manufacturing offices in Houston, USA
  • Employing advanced turbine technology that provides an economical solution for the dispatch needs of nearly every condition
  • With 44% simple cycle efficiency, 10-minute starts, superior hot-day performance, load following and cycling capabilities and proven high reliability, GE’s LMS100 was the ideal solution
  • Environmental benefits from reduced carbon emissions as the result of improved efficiency
  • Construction program accelerated to a 24-hour, 7-day week working regime, to allow mechanical and electrical trades to complete works within program
back to top