Thorndon Cook Power
   
Thorndon Cook Power
Thorndon Cook Power
Condamine Power Station

Condamine Power Station

Condamine Power Station
  • ClientQueensland Gas Company
  • Date2007 to 2010
  • LocationQueensland, Australia
  • Project Value$150 million

  • Thorndon Cook Staff
  • Peter Tearne
  • Luc Poloni

The Project

The Condamine Power Station is a 140-megawatt combined-cycle plant consisting of two Siemens SGT-800 gas turbines, two supplementary-fired single-pressure heat recovery steam generators, and a Siemens SST-400 steam turbine. The plant is the first combined power station in the world to be fired using untreated coal seam gas and the first in Australia to use water, obtained from coal seam methane gas production, in the evaporative cooling tower of a combined-cycle gas-fired power station. The water, with its high salinity, was previously considered a waste product.

Our Role

Thorndon Cook staff were involved as Owner’s Engineer for the Queensland Gas Company (QGC) through all stages of the Condamine Power Station project from initial feasibility studies right through to final commissioning.

Thorndon Cook staff were also subsequently involved during inspections of the rotating equipment and in particular provided specialist advice during early unplanned maintenance to the gas turbines.

Results

Challenges

The project faced challenges because of the location which was remote from any plentiful supply of good quality clean water and it was also desired to use coal seam methane gas direct from the gas gathering plant.

Although lacking in a clean water supply there was dirty water available as a waste stream from the process of extracting the coal seam methane gas. This water was piped to the power station and then filtered and treated as required to provide all the raw water needed for plant operation. Several stages of water treatment were required including pre-treatment using clarifiers, micro-filtration using membrane filters and then via reverse osmosis units to produce potable standard water and then finally through a Continuous Electro-Deionisation (CDI) unit to produce demineralised water of a quality suitable for steam cycle make-up.

The decision to locate the power plant close to the nearby gas gathering stations reduce the need to construct a lengthy gas supply pipe however it did present challenges in that there had to be close integration between the production of the gas in the gas fields and the use of the gas in the power station. Minimum processing of the gas was carried out in the gas field which meant that the power plant had to be equipped with the necessary plant to provide the high pressure, clean gas supply needed for the gas turbines. A separate challenge was the need to have black start capability which meant low pressure gas was used to provide fuel for a gas engine which then provided power to the gas compressors and also the auxiliary power needed to start the gas turbines.

Construction and commissioning timescales were a major challenge for the project with the first use of gas needing to be as early as possible to provide an offtake for the gas fields. With this in mind the plant was constructed in two stages using bypass exhaust stacks on the gas turbines to allow first operation in simple cycle and then later operation in combines cycle.

Innovations

The location of the power plant site optimises cost and environmental efficiency by allowing the supply of coal seam methane gas and water from the local gas fields.

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