Newsroom - Oct 27, 2020

Keeping the Lights on in the Middle of the Pandemic

IGS Europe completed 650 sq.m. scope in 8 days


Drax power statiot IGS HVTS


Based in the United Kingdom, this Power Plant has a capacity of 3,906 megawatts (MW) and produces around 14 terawatt-hours (TWh) of power a year, 96% using compressed wood pellets, a form of sustainably sourced biomass. The remainder is produced using coal, for which commercial operations come to an end in March 2021.

The boiler units went into operation in the 1970s and require ongoing monitoring and maintenance to prevent unplanned outages from erosion and corrosion damage.  As well as surface protection solutions from IGS, the plant utilizes continuous inspection systems that monitor the boiler tubes’ integrity and generate data to inform and validate the plant engineers’ metal wastage prevention strategies.


IGS HVTS application timeline at the UK Power plant boiler waterwalls


Boiler Maintenance Timeline | Boiler Waterwall and Superheater Protection

Colin Bateman, Director of Business Development EMEA, IGS, commented: “We started servicing this Major UK Power Plant in 2016 and have since been awarded a long-term contract for thermal spray applications within their boilers.  Our capability to quickly mobilize our applications team and equipment, coupled with extensive experience, enable us to exceed client expectations in terms of shutdown schedules and solution reliability.” IGS have been applying High Velocity Thermal Spray Alloy Cladding on boiler waterwalls and Ceramic coatings on the superheater.

Before and After: IGS HVTS waterwall application:

IGS HVTS at Drax 2016 before IGS HVTS at Drax 2016 after


Before and After: IGS HVTS superheater application:

IGS HVTS at Drax 2016 superheater before IGS HVTS at Drax superheater after


Boiler Unit 3 2020 Outage

The boilers at this Power Plant run on a four-year maintenance cycle. The outage for Unit 3, a biomass boiler burning proprietary wood pellets, was initially planned for February/March 2020. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the start of the outage was postponed to the end of August, with the IGS work on the Unit 3 boiler waterwall scheduled for October.

Preparation for the Outage

IGS had to adapt the mobilization of our crew from our European operations base in the Czech Republic to be in compliance with the client and UK Covid regulations, quarantine was not required in accordance with the UK Government’s exemptions for specialist technical workers for the power infrastructure. All the crew were tested prior to their arrival in the UK and negative results were confirmed before entry to the site. IGS Europe was the largest team coming in from outside of the UK.

Specialist Technical Workers

Workers with specialist technical skills required for essential or emergency works to ensure the continued safe and secure operations of generating stations, gas or electricity transmission or distribution networks, electricity interconnectors, gas terminals, or district or communal heat networks

Colin Bateman IGS Integrated Global Services


Colin Bateman, Director of Business Development EMEA, IGS, added: “In addition, we have the IGS Pandemic Plan added to our mobilization procedures. Special actions were taken for accommodation, site activity, social distancing, and keeping the team in small pods. We had 30+ people on-site, working 24 hours a day in shifts. Bubbles were maintained throughout the IGS team, ensuring on-the-job and off-the-job social distancing.”

On location, Covid tests, monitoring, and temporary accommodation modules in a local leisure centre were set up.

Project Execution

The planned project start date was pushed back by two days due to delays with pressure part activities in the back end of the boiler (not in the furnace first pass where the IGS HVTS was applied). As a result, the IGS critical path was reduced from 10 to 8 days. Despite this IGS hit the new required customer schedule and completed the works with the application of the IGS HVTS system to 650 m2 within the new critical path dates.

The scope was completed on time with no hiccups in accordance with all requirements from the government and all companies involved in the outage, a large-scale project delivered on time and within budget. The IGS team has been commended for their professionalism and attention to detail.

Handling Issues during Project Delivery

Even a problematic compressor didn’t knock the IGS team off schedule!  An IGS technician used his expertise, initiative, and knowledge to maintain the 3rd party equipment to keep the project on schedule.

In 2020, IGS is set to complete at least 273 projects, keeping essential infrastructure going by preventing corrosion, erosion, and fouling within Power Plants, Refineries, Chemical Producers, Pulp & Paper, Mining/Metals, Cement Plants, and other facilities.

boiler wall IGS hvts

Read about another recently completed project: IGS Middle East Team Delivers Two Critical Projects During the Pandemic!

Read about another recently completed project: Navigating Complex Covid-19 Requirements to Deliver a Critical Powergen Project in the Philippines

IGS Covid-19 Response

In these unprecedented times, delivering specialized services for mission-critical equipment in the energy sector is a challenge. To this, we say – Challenge Accepted! For IGS, it is essential to keep delivering the quality of services that our clients around the world expect from us so they, in turn, can continue to provide critically important services to the world.

IGS teams are stationed in multiple strategic locations around the world to enable the swift mobilization of our crews to any job site anywhere and at any time. From maintaining critical infrastructure in Poland, to ensuring the reliability of petrochemical complexes in the Middle East, all while completing large scale projects in Japan, Indonesia, France, and the USA, IGS has never stopped delivering projects across the globe.

Every day, our dedicated local teams continue to perform safely and efficiently in these challenging conditions. IGS’s top priority remains the health and safety of our people and the customer’s personnel. All while ensuring the reliability of the most critical energy and chemical producers to facilitate the continuity of essential services in these challenging times.

Going Digital: Continuing Education and Information Sharing during the Pandemic

IGS continues sharing best practices, information, and general education through webinars, white papers, and videos, by collaborating with prominent industry associations, including NACE, Refining Community, Euro Petroleum Consultants, and AmmoniaKnowHow, among others.


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