EDF VAZZIO’s 132.3 MW power plant supplies a large part of Corsica’s electricity requirements. Four Babcock Wanson BWD50ESN boilers heat and maintain the temperature of the heavy fuel oil (HFO) that is used in seven thermal engines to produce electricity.
At the beginning of April 2020, Babcock Wanson was urgently called to intervene at the power plant facility. A furnace tube in one of the four boilers needed to be repaired, and all combustion settings of the Burner Management System (BMS) needed to be checked due to a change in the specification of the heavy fuel oil.
As the COVID-19 outbreak continued to evolve, site working conditions became complicated however Babcock Wanson is committed to supporting all clients during difficult times such as these to ensure the continuity of vital processes.
Two Babcock Wanson field service engineers, Jonathan and Aurélien, volunteered to carry out this intervention. “Reaching Corsica presented a number of challenges” as Jonathan says. The lack of air freight to the island and ferry cancellations forced them to wait a day in Toulon before finally being able to go to Bastia Harbour and then cross the island and reach the power station at Ajaccio. Advance arrangements had to be made, with the local prefecture’s support, to ensure accommodation and meals were provided for our field engineers, as the regular hotels and restaurants were closed due to the pandemic.
On arrival on site, the steam boiler service et maintenance operations got underway immediately. Aurélien was able to proceed with (under the circumstances, this is was the preferred option to replacing the tube) and Jonathan was able to adjust the setting on all four burners.
Regarding the health concerns, “All safety protocols were respected,” according to Jonathan. The outdoor location of the boiler installation is away from the main production areas. Apart from the reduced number of EDF staff, there were no other contractors on site, thereby limiting interaction between personnel. “We had hand sanitising gel available, however no masks could be supplied by the customer”, adds Aurélien.
The return trip back to their home was trouble free. The client note that they were very satisfied with Babcock Wanson’s performance and service and were particularly impressed with the two field service engineers’ contribution to the reliability of Corsica’s power supply during a health crisis.