Drax power station in Yorkshire is to cut carbon emissions from its six coal fired generated by 5% following a £100M turbine upgrade announced this week.
The new turbines will be supplied by Siemens Power Generation and will be fitted during scheduled outages of the six units from 2008.'Our industry is highly capital intensive and investment decisions must be made on the basis of long term payback,' said a Drax spokeswoman. 'The payback for this project is three to four years depending on the cost of carbon which falls well within phase two (of the government's carbon emissions trading scheme),'Carbon trading allows companies to buy and sell allowances depending on whether they are within or exceeding their limits for carbon generation, set by government. Current trading arrangements are fixed until 2012 beyond which there is no certainty that the scheme will continue.As a result, companies are cautious about investing in carbon emissions reduction by introducing more expensive plant like supercritical boilers, which typically operate at 46% thermal efficiency compared to 35% to 40% for standard boilers. The same goes for carbon capture and storage.