More power needed
We originally planned to replace two decommissioned 5MW Mirrlees generators at La Collette Power Station with two refurbished 11MW Sulzer diesel generators by Spring 2013.
But when the decommissioning of our first undersea supply cable EDF1 in June 2012 reduced our capacity to import power from France, the diesel project gained new impetus.
December 2011 - Sourcing the Sulzers
In late 2011 the Board approved the project. Our main Swiss contractor MIE sourced suitable engines in Saudi Arabia.
French-built, they were initially installed in China in 1992. They became part of a consignment of 22 bought in 2007 by Saudi Arabian Altuwairqi Steel, but 12 became surplus to requirements.
Our Chief Engineer John Duquemin and Mechanical Maintenance Engineer Paul Thebault travelled to Damman in Saudi Arabia with representatives of MIE to inspect and purchase the Sulzers.
The engines were offloaded on to the Victoria Pier and transported, one at a time, on an 11-axle, 88-wheel low loader, supplied by heavy lift specialists Goncalo PowerVia, the short distance from the harbour to the Power Station.
There, Goncalo PowerVia undertook the tricky operation to offload the 125-tonne engines on to air cushions and ‘float’ them under the low entrance of the Power Station. Each engine was then jacked up onto its newly-built engine bed.
Vapour Ilhas, a Madeiran specialist engineering company installed the engines and auxiliary plant, carried out the overhauls and completed their commissioning. During the overhauls, each engine was upgraded from 10.5 to 11.2MW, and engineers fitted more than 8,700 new parts to the engines.
We built complete new pipework systems to connect the engines into the existing La Collette infrastructure. We had to install a new 80m x 1.6m diameter stainless steel exhaust flue into the concrete chimney at La Collette. It was built from the basement and, section by section, hydraulically raised to its full height of 80m.
March 2012 - A logistical first for JE and the Island
Finding an available ship with large enough cranes to lift the engines but small enough to dock in St Helier proved difficult. However, the Atlant Frauke at 107-metres and 7,380 tonnes became one of the biggest ships ever to enter the Port of St Helier with our valuable cargo on 15 March 2012.
January 2013 - The Sulzers are switched on
The Sulzers first generated power on to the bars on 15 January 2013, crucially before the onset of the severest part of winter. Along with the recommissioning of other generating assets, the Sulzers and new transformer created an extra 55MW of on-Island generating capacity.
This proved crucial in meeting demand during the winters of 2012/13 and 2013/14 until we completed the installation of our Normandie 3 French cable link to restore import capacity.
Projects you might also be interested in
Installed in 2014, Normandie 3 is an undersea cable that significantly enhanced Jersey's supply security and helped us double our import capacity of low-carbon electricity.Learn more
Solar PV arrays
Learn more about our renewable solar projects and why we think solar suits our Island best.Learn more
Normandie 1 documentary
The Normandie 1 marked a significant forward step in our subsea cable investment programme. This documentary was commissioned to celebrate the switch on.