New IT System from Capgemini Helps Centrica Achieve Peak Efficiency for 5GW Fleet of Power Stations

17 March 2008

Centrica Energy, the sister company of British Gas, Britain’s largest supplier of domestic electricity, is celebrating a new milestone in its power generation business with the go-live this month of a new enterprise-wide IT system to help maximise the efficiency and reliability of its existing 4.1GW portfolio of UK power stations, as well as its new £400 million 885MW gas fired plant being developed at Langage, Devon.

The go-live was achieved on schedule, within budget, and without disruption to business operations. It follows an 18-month programme of planning, implementation and training carried out as a collaborative effort jointly managed by Centrica Energy and Capgemini UK, with team members from across Centrica Energy, from Capgemini UK and from a Capgemini development centre in Mumbai, India.

Centrica Energy anticipates that the new system will help it to increase plant availability and reduce unplanned outages to a minimum. It is also expected to underpin cost-effectiveness in key areas of activity such as plant maintenance, engineering management and procurement. The new system is based on the SAP Enterprise Asset Management suite of software and replaces a diversity of earlier-generation technology that Centrica inherited from its portfolio of acquired power stations.

Alex Spring, Programme Director at Centrica Energy, said: ‘The project will make the capture, sharing, comparison and analysis of information more effective and efficient through the use of common methods and processes, supported by a single system. One of Centrica Energy’s key business drivers is to create value enhancing opportunities within our assets. It is clear that this programme of change will help deliver the foundations for an asset management strategy that can optimise the return on our substantial power asset portfolio investment.’

The new system covers all key parts of the Centrica Energy power generation business, including plant operations, maintenance management, engineering management, project systems, materials management, procurement, finance and accounting.

Centrica Energy also took the opportunity presented by the development of new IT to review its operational and business processes. With the help of Capgemini business consultants, it has moved to a common operating model, with new, consistent processes across all its power stations, enabling best practice, promoting efficiency and giving better management visibility across the enterprise.

John Waymire, Vice President at Capgemini UK, said: ‘With the world’s resources under pressure as never before, the ability to produce energy with peak efficiency becomes ever more crucial, and we are proud to have helped Centrica Energy meet this great challenge.’

The new IT systems are going live in a phased process. Six power stations are now live, and will be followed by the remainder of the company’s power stations in March 2008.

‘We are delighted that Centrica has selected SAP as their main software suite, and we look forward to enabling them to maximise benefits realisation from the system.’ said Nigel Trapp, Utilities Divisional Manager, SAP UK.

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