18 January 2018, Thursday, 12:56

Accident at Minsk Thermal Power Plant 5?


A Chinese turbine with a weight of over 400 tonnes is reported to have broken.

A reader of charter97.org says that information about an explosion at Minsk Thermal Power Station 5 has been spreading among Belarusian  power engineering specialists since the middle of December 2012.

The matter is a new joint project of Minskenergo power company and the China National Corporation. Under the contract, the Chinese side implemented construction, engineering and assembly works of a 399.6 MW combined cycle power unit. The power unit consists of a  M701F Gas Turbine (270MW), a heat-recovery boiler and a 129.6MW steam turbine. The Chinese side issued a €260.19m loan for construction works. The power unit has been running in parallel with the power system since December 2011.

A source says “there is a version that a turbine blade tore off and got into the combustion chamber. The personnel of the power plant 5 avoid discussing the topic, but some specialists exchange little information with one another.”

The reader doesn't write how serious the accident was, but notes the blast was heard near the power station.

The Ministry of Energy declined to give any information about the accident to a charter97.org journalist saying “We don't consider it right to comment” and advised to contact Belenergo power company. The press service of Belenergo offered to send an “official request”. “We will read it and give our answer,” the Belenergo company press service says.

To understand possible problems for Belarusian power engineers, it suffices to recall that a special programme was worked out to transport the equipment to the station: a berth on the Berezina River was built for heavy trucks to transport four parts of the power unit – a transformer, a gas turbine, a generator rotor and a steam turbine. The power unit was transported to the power station by the Dnieper River and then by the Berezina River to the town of Berazino. Special equipment was installed on the berth to unload the cargo from barges and load it on heavy trucks. Roads and bridges on the way to the power station were strengthened to transport the equipment.

As the result of the modernisation, Minsk Thermal Power Station 5, which, by the way, was designed as the first Belarusian nuclear power plant before the Chernobyl accident, became the fourth most powerful station in the Belarusian power system.