A GE Jenbacher Engine

8 October 2013 — Clarke Energy is supplying 3.6 gigawatts of energy around the world including 460 megawatts in Australia alone.

The company, which operates in 11 countries with 900 staff, was recently awarded a contract to engineer, install and maintain a cogeneration plant at New South Wales’ Charles Sturt University in Bathurst.

The plant will help the university achieve a 25 per cent reduction in energy consumption, producing up to 637 kilowatts of electrical output and achieve a total efficiency of close to 80 per cent.

In addition, 705kW of recovered thermal energy will be delivered to the existing campus hot water network as hot water at 95°C.

See our story: Contracts: Clarke Energy to build cogen plant for CSU

Clarke Energy sales manager Martin Smith said the business started out as a service company in the United Kingdom in 1989.

Six years later it acquired the Jenbacher distributorship for the UK, which led to purchasing the region’s Jenbacher subsidiaries.

It made the move to Australia in 1998 to Braeside in Victoria, but later opened its head office in Adelaide in 2006. During that time, in 2003, General Electric bought Austrian company Jenbacher and renamed it GE Jenbacher.

Bolivar Wastewater Treatment Plant, Adelaide

Mr Smith said Clarke Energy “first and foremost” was the distributor for GE Jenbacher gas engines, along with their service, spare parts, design and construction.

“With most engine sales above five megawatts the clients like us to facilitate the full design and construct,” he said.

Mr Smith said Clarke Energy employed 120 people in Australia with half based in Adelaide and the other half spread throughout the country “in every state”.

Its main market remains the oil, gas and mining fields – including remote facilities in Western Australia and Queensland’s coal seam gas operations, which make up 50 per cent of the company’s installed base.

But Mr Smith said within the industrial and commercial spaces, Clarke Energy had a strong focus on cogeneration and trigeneration.

Recent projects include a 4MW trigeneration system at Perth Airport, a 4.8MW trigeneration system at Queensland’s new Children’s Hospital and the supply of three biogas fuelled cogeneration systems for Queensland Urban Utilities in Brisbane.

“We are also in the process of completing installation of a 7.2MW system at the Bolivar Wastewater Treatment Plant in Adelaide,” he said.

“And… we were awarded the contract to design and construct an 18MW extension to an existing generation facility near a coal mine – I can’t say where yet.”

Mr Smith said the future was looking good for the company and while there had been a slight decrease in mining activity there was now a “recovery” underway.

On the downside, the increasing cost of gas had seen a number of well-advanced cogeneration and trigeneration projects put on hold or scrapped, he said.

“We are monitoring that market space and one advantage we have is that we work across many other sectors of the gas-fired power generation market.

“We don’t put all our eggs in the one basket.”