Year 2013 news

Our company year was very busy from 2 January until 20 December.  By the year’s end, we had commissioned 13 new gas turbine generators and attended to a number of others, GTGs as well as Steam Turbine Generators, STGs, to sort out protection, excitation and synchronising issues.  Our work was in 11 countries - France, Germany, India, Italy, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Tanzania, Ukraine and UK.

We went offshore UK and India.  We enjoy a reputation as one of the best resources in the world for commissioning and technical support on GTGs and STGs, with clients in half a dozen countries with much repeat work.  In addition, we spent many months at the new Yanbu Oil Refinery in Saudi Arabia where a major project was underway to connect to the Saudi 380 kV grid.  This was a top specification project which included four new gas-insulated substations, six transformers and the very latest protection and control technology.  We acted as the representative of the UK supplier and project management and did a certain amount of commissioning ourselves as well as supervision and technical consultancy on the whole installation.  It was satisfying to see this project closed successfully in mid December.

The energy scene in the UK is complicated.  There are lots of buzz words such as renewables, low carbon, alternative energy and there are the other factors such as public opinion and government policies.  These are in our minds all the time because we feel we should have a well-considered company view, not only because energy costs are really important for the prosperity of the UK but because they are important worldwide too for our customers and for those countries who are struggling to maintain minimum standards of health and happiness.  Our research shows that it is the economics of electricity generation that should matter most and we have given lectures this year, two in Canada and two in the UK, all at learned society type gatherings, to try and bring some common sense to the subject.  We have moved on from considering the straightforward fuel economics and are now looking at the overall economics of generation, transmission and distribution.  We are inclined to think the unthinkable, to question whether that national treasure in the UK, the National Grid, is actually making things better or worse and we are moving towards the latter.  The National Grid is certainly expensive but, more than that, it is a source of problems.  It is prone to failure, for example due to bad weather, high winds, lightning and many other dangers to a massive network of overhead Extra High Voltage lines supported on thousands of steel pylons and there is said to be a real danger of a national blackout because of inadequate reserves of generation.  There is no doubt that the National Grid has sufficient competence and experience to anticipate changes in electricity demand and it needs to do this because of the mix of generation it can call on.  We say that if we deploy gas turbine generators in large numbers, these will automatically respond to changes in load and the other downsides of a national grid will be avoided too.  Our readers will understand that we are completely unbiased in asserting this!  Alas, our solution is not on the cards at the moment.
We need to end our obsession with reducing carbon dioxide first.

The directors of the company thank all our staff and our clients and consultants and friends
for their loyalty and trust during 2013.

We wish them all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year.


John Sanderson, Director, 17 December 2013