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Steam turbine equipped with detachable housing

About project

Maasbracht has been the home-base for one of the Netherlands' power plants for many years. A new power plant was added in 2012. The new power plant has a steam turbine that Merford has equipped with detachable enclosure. The condenser has been addressed as well and was equipped with various sound-insulating walls.

  • Performance by Sonobex

In recent years, a new power plant was built alongside the existing power plant in Maasbracht. In addition, part of the existing plant was modernised. Merford in the past had delivered a large number of sound-reducing solutions for the existing plant. Now, almost 15 years later, Merford was contracted to replace part of this work and to implement additional measures.

Merford supplied and installed a fully custom-made SKS type sound-insulating enclosure around the existing steam turbine. The ability to disassemble the enclosure was a strict customer requirement. The enclosure consists of 16 detachable walls and 10 detachable roof elements. The structure can be assembled in a single day. In addition, Merford supplied and installed SKW type sound-insulating walls around the existing condenser for a total of approx. 750 m2. The enclosure and the walls were entirely engineered, drawn, produced and assembled by Merford (acoustics, ventilation and construction). On June 26, 2012, the renovated Clauscentrale power plant was officially opened by Maria van der Hoeven, Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), and Peter Terium, RWE's Vice-CEO.

Large Test Cells for ABC Engines

Merford has supplied the largest test cells it has ever built in the Benelux countries for the huge diesel engines manufactured by ABC (Anglo Belgian Corporation) in the Belgian city of Ghent. The test cells consist mostly of concrete, and have removable acoustic wall and roof components. The concrete walls have SKA absorption panels. The test cells also have a ventilation system with silencers and rain hoods. A third test cell will be delivered at the end of 2014.

Largest Test Cells in the Benelux

Merford has constructed two large test cells for Belgium's only engine manufacturer. ABC, in the city of Ghent, was founded 100 years ago and now houses the largest Merford test cells in the Benelux countries. The test cells are used for the long-duration testing of a new generation of diesel engines that comply with the IMO-3 emission standard, and have a capacity of up to 5200 kW and 7065 HP. The engines are 8 metres long, 3 metres wide and 5 metres high. 

Access and Ventilation

The test cells are made of concrete with very large openings through which the engines can be lifted in and out. Merford has fitted the test cells with removable acoustic wall and roof components. These large acoustic components can be opened and closed with a bridge crane. Much attention was paid to the safety and stackability of the roof and wall components. Merford has also fitted the two test cells with a ventilation system to discharge the generated heat. Heavy silencers and rain hoods are used for supplying and expelling air.


The hard concrete walls inside the test cells have mechanically strong SKA absorption panels for reducing acoustic reflections in the space. The entire unit has various acoustic doors and acoustic glazing between the testing area and the control room. In the control room, it is almost impossible to hear whether the engine is running or not. ABC has expressed its confidence in Merford and the techniques that have been applied, and a third acoustic test cell is now under construction. It is expected to be operational in late 2014.

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