Fortum eNext has been responsible for the operation and maintenance of the Hamm CCGT power plant in Germany since 2007. After fifteen years of close and good partnership, in September 2021, the customer made a strategic decision to take the O&M of the plant into its own hands.
“The cooperation has always been very good, as Fortum understood our needs as the operator of the power plant very well. Over the years, we never had any difficult technical discussions. I was always able to trust Fortum’s proposals, because we basically had the same understanding of things. Our decision was certainly not because we were unsatisfied, but because we saw this as part of the optimisation of the whole power plant process,” explains Dr. Martin Buschmeier, CEO of Trianel Gaskraftwerk Hamm GmbH & Co.
Ways of working developed over the years
Making use of the industry’s best knowledge and technology, Fortum eNext has operated the plant with the aim to ensure high availability, efficiency, and reliability, and with the highest standards in safety and sustainability. Plant personnel has been trained and the current setup built and refined over the years; the staff is very committed to the ways of working that were developed together. The integrated management system (IMS) adopted by Fortum and supported by a tailor-made IT system and digital tools, enables the efficient and flexible operation of the plant. In addition, Fortum has also provided a centralised technical support team to assist and manage various requests from the site.
“The best practices and strong O&M culture that we developed here have served as a reference to other third-party power plants that Fortum is currently operating, as well as for the operations of Fortum’s own plants,” says Mikko Ryky, Power Plant Manager at Hamm.
Successful change for the times
In 2014 the power plant faced serious profitability issues due to decreased electricity prices. The future depended on finding a way to cost-efficiently keep the power plant in operation to cater to the demand peaks whenever high electricity prices were forecasted. In practice, this meant becoming very fast in the changeover between ramping the production up and down.
“The plant started out as a base load plant, which was run red as much as possible. Then suddenly everything changed, so we had to develop a completely new way to operate and maintain the plant at the other extreme and be extremely flexible. The change that this team was able to make has been tremendous, and I consider it one of the highlights,” says Mikko Päivärinta, currently responsible for Fortum’s third-party O&M sites and who worked as Power Plant Manager in Hamm in 2010–2019.
Continuity is very important
Fortum will not leave the site overnight, but will continue to provide technical support for as long as needed. In the future, the Hamm power plant will continue contributing the needed generation capacity to the regional power supply system and provide a flexible and reliable backup power source to accommodate the fluctuations of renewable energy sources.
“If an operator for any reason isn’t able to take care of the O&M right from the start, Fortum is a very good partner. If you need a service supplier to do it, Fortum is always the right choice. That’s something I recommend, because I’ve been on both sides. It’s very easy for us to say yes, two thumbs up!” Dr. Martin Buschmeier concludes.