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Services for the Fossil Fuels Sector

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Fossil fuel power generation

Fossil based fuels, such as coal, gas and oil, remain the predominate sources of fuel for the power generation industry. The majority of countries around the world rely on the burning of these fuels for the production of base load electricity as well as an ever increasing demand for load following capability during times of peak demand and to balance electricity produced from renewable sources. Many generation assets, particularly in the coal fired power generation sector are nearing or have past their original design life or are no longer environmentally and economically sustainable. The industry trend is to move towards more efficient combined cycle gas turbine technologies or towards higher temperature, more efficient coal burning plant.

Adding Value

Our strategy is to add value to our Members' business by working with utilities to reduce operational downtime and with OEMs and the supply chain to improve equipment efficiency, manufacturing productivity and quality of product.

As well as supporting developments in welding engineering in the fossil fuel sector, we can assist with:

  • Specialist repair procedure development
  • Fabrication/Fabricator audits
  • Fitness for service audit/review
  • Fracture Integrity Management/Life assessment
  • Risk based Asset Management
  • Materials properties
  • Structural and process modelling
  • Advanced NDT and Conventional NDT
  • Training in welding and inspection
  • Manufacturing and repair Codes and Standards

Focussing on challenges

The fossil fuel power generation sector faces a diverse range of challenges in the operation of existing and new power plant. In existing plant, there is often issues associated aging equipment such as long term high temperature creep degradation in boiler components, flow accelerated corrosion and steam oxidation in pipework, erosion in steam turbine components and fouling in gas turbine components. The range of materials involved is diverse, including carbon steel, CrMoV, P91, P92, modified 9-12Cr and T24 as well as stainless steels and nickel alloys in turbine equipment. Inspection and specialist repair of key components is crucial to the continued, safe operation of aging power plant assets, in particular in understanding the welding and heat treatment of this range of power plant materials.

In new build, power generators face a very different set of challenges. Fabrication quality and international welding code compliance is essential to achieving on time and on budget capital intensive power plant projects. Increasingly complex designs lead to more challenging inspection scenarios during the build phase.

For OEM’s, the challenge is to reduce their own manufacturing costs as well as drive down the operating costs for the power generator. At the same time, operators demand improved output efficiency of the equipment and plant, and reduction in maintenance costs. Improvement gains, driven by the use of new materials and manufacturing methods, lead to new challenges in materials joining, welding and coatings. Development of new materials for high temperature coal fired plant (A-USC), such as CB2 (9%Cr-Mo-Co-B) and MarBN (Martensitic Boron Nitride), bring new challenges in welding and heat treatment for future plant.

By focussing on these challenges, TWI is able to provide a comprehensive range of support to the fossil fuel sector from power plant materials testing and component failure investigation through to welding repair procedure development and fitness for service assessment. This support is delivered by expert staff with power industry experience in welding, structural integrity and inspection.

For more information on support for the power generation sector please visit our utilities and OEM pages or email

For more information please email: