SPE, the second largest electrical utility in the Belgium, has commissioned its Rolls-Royce Trent 60-powered electrical generating plant at the Ham power station in the centre of Ghent. The simple cycle plant, which is the most powerful and fuel-efficient of its type in the world, is also environmentally friendly due to the high efficiency of the Rolls-Royce engines.

Charles Athanasia, vice president of power generation for the Rolls-Royce energy business said: “This represents a significant achievement for Rolls-Royce. The Trent 60 delivers performance levels to SPE that are not available from any other aero derivative gas turbine. Our experience, together with our technology, will enable SPE to run its plant at peak efficiency.”

The Rolls-Royce gas turbines have made a significant improvement to the plant’s environmental impact and were a key factor in the decision to replace the diesel engines used at the station for the past 40 years. Two Trent 60 aero derivative gas turbines will provide over 100MW of power during times of peak demand at the Meuse River site, where a power station has been sited for over 80 years.

The noise level of the new plant is now even lower than the ambient noise level on the streets of Ghent. Vibrations from the plant when the diesel engines were running have almost completely disappeared. This environmental improvement was one of the main drivers for the project, given its city centre location.

Following on from this successful installation in Ghent, SPE and Rolls-Royce have joined forces to build another Trent 60 power station on an existing SPE site at Angleur near Liège. Rolls-Royce has now installed eleven Trent gas turbine generating sets at power station sites in Europe with an additional 12 units on order.

The Trent 60 gas turbine, derived from the Rolls-Royce Trent aero engine for the Boeing 777, is currently the most powerful aero derivative gas turbine available in the world with a power output up to 64MW.