About us Projects Sulzer diesel generators
Engineers install a diesel generator at La Collette Power Station.

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.

One of the two Sulzer Diesel Generators destined for La Collete sits on the docks in St Helier.

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.

One of the two Diesel Sulzer Generators on the 88-wheel low loader.

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.

The two Sulzer Diesel Generators working together to produce power for the island,

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.

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