ENGIE’s refurbishment of First Hydro's Ffestiniog power station proceeds apace

5th July 2019

ENGIE, the leading energy and service company, has confirmed that the first phases of its refurbishment works at Ffestiniog Power Station, part of the 2GW First Hydro pumped storage operation in Wales, have been completed.

The £50m refurbishment programme involves replacement of two 90MW generating units (Units 1 & 2), extending their operational life for at least a further 20 years. Initial works have involved a complex series of procedures to prepare for the installation of new generating units.

By June 2019 both original units had been disassembled, providing the first access to the lower bearings and turbine, revealing substantial corrosion and confirming ENGIE’s decision to refurbish.

In addition, one of the two 200m deep vertical hydraulic shafts is being refurbished, a new 2.7km power supply to the upper reservoir has been installed and safety systems have been upgraded. Alongside these works, 60-year old control desks are being replaced in readiness for installation of new controllers that will place Ffestiniog at the leading edge of online diagnostics and condition monitoring.

Future planned works for mid-2019 include testing of Main Inlet Valves and pressure relief valves, installation of further power cables and refurbishment of additional areas of the hydraulic shaft.

The contract for the refurbishment of Units 1 & 2, agreed with German engineering firm Voith Hydro, covers the refurbishment of Units 1 & 2, with an option for the refurbishment of Units 3 & 4 at a later date.