Hello humans, for your reading pleasure I bring you
instalment number 5 of my Witty Blog Title series. Hard to believe it’s nearly
been a month since I left my old life behind in sunny Scotland, crazy times.
The weather seems to have improved this week to coincide with my purchase of a
shiny new guitar, oh yes. In other news I finally met an Irishman at the Irish
pub. But let’s talk about work…
Another interesting week of events at the Moerdijk plant to
report. Beginning to get into the swing of my water and steam data analysing
along with my Acer Tablet computer. I now also have a radio to keep in contact
with the control room, saving me a walk across the site every time there is a
problem. Not to mention I no longer run the risk of staying in my wee lab not
knowing the system has been shut down and everyone has gone home.
Despite the team’s initial flawless success with First Fire
and various other start up tests we have subsequently ran into some problems
with the gas turbine exhaust tunnel resulting in the plant not being online for
two days. We also found a leak in this rather large valve which literally weighed
a tonne (1000kg). It took 3 engineers
and a lot of hoisting equipment to dismantle it from the pipe so we could get a
look at it. On inspection we found a big
chunk of sharp metal (not dissimilar to the pointy part of the common NED’s
chib) wedged inside the pipe, not sure who put that in there…
While the plant was offline I had the chance to go inside ‘Bearing
1’, this huge room is the gas exhaust duct and during operation it heats up to
6500C - ideal if you want to become The Human Torch from the
Fantastic Four, otherwise you don’t want to be inside when its turned on.
The working week ended on a high note on Friday when the
plant was able to start up again for two hours. You may not think this is very
long but this marked the occasion of synchronising with the national grid (Or
in normal speak, the first time the plant was actually generating electricity
and supplying it to the outside world). Only 20 MW was produced (5% of total
capacity) still, a critical moment in the commissioning of the plant.
Since the team has been working ever so hard GE HQ treated
us to an evening of go-karting and laser tag. Good times to congratulate us on
our success so far.
Dinner consisted of a Chinese buffet and a free bar (I don’t
suppose they told the go-karting company that a Scotsman would be coming).
Go-karting was a great adrenaline rush: it has been a few years since I last
experienced it but this was definitely the most violent race I have ever
partaken in; quite a few knocks and collisions with my fellow colleagues. Don’t
worry though, I got a good few hits in myself. Needless to say the result was
waking up on Sunday with bruised ribs and legs. While still high on adrenaline
at the go-karting, we ventured into the laser tag arena. I managed to kill the
Moerdijk site manager a few times though at the same time some of the older
guys’ children shot me on more than one occasion, the humility.
The night was still young (loosely translated as ‘we went to
the pub’) and I was persuaded to bring along my new guitar by my fellow axe-man
Malek and after a few 0.5 litres of Guinness (and a couple of whiskies) we all
had a little sing song outside the pub as we enjoyed our alcoholic
beverages. One homeless guy was so
impressed he gave us a few cans of free beer. I might be Scottish but even I
wouldn’t drink booze from homeless people, but nonetheless, a very kind
I didn’t get up to much on Sunday - too hungover/injured
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