Year 2015 news

Our 26th year was not bad at all.  By the year’s end, we had commissioned 11 new generators and attended to many others for maintenance, refurbishment and to deal with such things as protection, excitation and synchronising issues.  Most were Gas Turbine Generators, but some were Steam Turbine Generators.  Our work was in 9 countries – Pakistan, Poland, Angola, Russia, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, India and UK.

    We commissioned four new transformers, each at 132 kV in the UK.  In two cases these were straightforward replacements, but the others were substantial construction projects involving new primary equipment at 132 and at 33 kV.  These projects re-established our standing in the UK electricity distribution sector for design review and commissioning of plant control and protection.  We are still able to rely on our reputation to bring in projects, rather than employ sales staff, and our client base has expanded.  Our most difficult project abroad was an investigation of a major 380 kV blackout in Saudi Arabia.  It was at a very large desalination plant and we were the third company to tackle the job.   We spent only a few days studying drawings and 7 days in Saudi Arabia and in that time were able to find the fault in the control circuitry and prove by testing that it had caused the widespread outage.

Our biggest concern for the power industry continues to be the cost of electricity in the UK and much of Europe.  Prices are much higher than they need to be and they are to blame, in part at least, for the closure of steel making plants and shrinkage of manufacturing generally.  We are critical of National Grid and Ofgem and HM Gov Department of Energy - there is still no coherent plan to replace old coal-fired power stations which, however much we love them, are all well past their use by date.  We would like to see hundreds of small gas fired power stations, each say 40 MW, and built in towns where there is half a chance to use the waste heat they produce.  These would be essentially off-grid and so the electricity they produced would be consumed by local loads and not subject to National Grid charges.   We are pleased that the government is removing subsidies on certain renewable generators, especially solar and wind, which means less expensive electricity for the consumer.  The Paris climate change conference is now over.  There was much emotion and celebration on the final day of the conference but the reality is, according to our readings, that little will change.  George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and our MP, will continue to resist the green agenda whilst cutting back on government spending.  We applaud him for this and we could not resist the item below and the accompanying cartoon.

The UK’s global network of climate diplomats is facing the chop days following a new UN deal to tackle global warming in Paris.  More than 100 posts are under threat, with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) set for 25-40% resource budget cuts by 2019-20 under the spending review of 25 November.

“The rumours, so we have been told, are they are going to axe the climate posts once the Paris climate summit is over,” said Barry Gardiner, Labour’s shadow climate minister.




The directors of the company thank all our staff and our clients and consultants and friends for their loyalty and trust during 2015.

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


John Sanderson, Director, 12 December 2015