Our History


Centrax was founded in 1946 by the late Richard H H Barr OBE and Geoffrey R White. The pair created the company after working with the celebrated RAF officer and engineer Sir Frank Whittle in the pioneering team who developed the jet engine.

In the early years Centrax manufactured its own industrial gas turbine, the CS-600. But in 1979 the company signed an agreement with Rolls-Royce to package the 501 gas turbine, which is ideally suited to CHP applications, and allowed Centrax to expand its market capabilities.

When Siemens Energy bought out the Rolls-Royce energy division in 2014, they maintained the existing relationship with Centrax – an arrangement which sees us continue to supply the 501, now A05, alongside the Siemens Energy SGT-300 and SGT-400 gas turbines.

As the premium packager for Siemens Energy gas turbines, Centrax has successfully installed and maintained generator packages across the UK, and in many countries throughout Europe and beyond.


Centrax founded by the late Richard H H Barr OBE and Geoffrey R White in Brentford, Middlesex, England.


Relocation to Newton Abbot.


The Gas Turbine Division is formed to design, manufacture and market the CS-600 engine which initially had a power output of 400 kW, but later uprated to 500 kW. Many machines sold as lorry-mounted mobiles for planned maintenance at public utility installations both in the UK and continental Europe.


Five CS-600’s installed on a drilling rig – the first gas turbines in the North Sea. Also a CS-600 generator package fitted to first Royal Navy all-gas turbine warship. First commercial Centrax CS-600 CHP installation installed in Tampa Florida.


Centrax wins a Queen’s Award to Industry.


First Centrax CS-600 CHP installation in Essex, UK.


First close-coupled CS-600 generator package released for production, the forerunner of the very successful close-coupled 501 and 571 packages which formed the basis of all Centrax packages from that time.


Agreement signed with the Allison Engine Company to package industrial gas turbines into generator sets.


First order to package seven mobile 501-K-powered generator sets for IBM, France.


First 501-KB generator set sold for CHP application at a paper mill in the Netherlands.


First 501-KB5 units sold with an order for three for a paper mill in Roermond, the Netherlands. The packages continue to run today.


Commence manufacture and supply of complete turbine modules for the Allison 571-K engines.
First CX570 units sold for an offshore project at the Ekofisk oil field, Norway.
Also, first CHP installation in UK for Smurfit Kappa’s SSK site in Birmingham.


First turnkey project in UK at landfill site near Birmingham.


First units sold in Germany, to KHD for Stuttgart University for a district heating project.


First CHP installation in Spain to Europac, and first units sold in India with order for 5 units to ONGC for 3 sites in Assam at Geleky Rudrasagar and Lakwa.


First CMC signed by Papelera Castilla, Spain.


First CHP installation in France and first turnkey project for Cascades Blendecques paper mill.
Also, first Cheng Cycle 501-KH for a district heating installation at Osimo, Italy.


First CX501-KB5 units sold for an offshore project in the North Sea (Amoco).


The first newly introduced KB7 engine is sold to Tierra Atomizada, Spain.
Opening of the service depot in Spain.


Centrax invests in a test and engine overhaul facility at the Newton Abbot site.


The Allison Engine Company is bought by Rolls-Royce.


Opening of service depots in the Netherlands and France.


First unit sold in Africa to Montalev in Gabon.
Opening of service depots in Germany and Italy.


First unit sold in Poland to Ostrów.


Frost & Sullivan award for Best Customer Service in European Power Generation.


First Industrial Trent 60 is shipped and first 501-KB7 units sold in Bermuda.


Centrax wins a Queen’s Award for Enterprise – Export Achievement.


Agreement reached with Siemens to package their 300 and 400 gas turbines in Centrax generator packages for the UK, France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Italy. First two Trent 60s successfully commissioned at Ajka in Hungary.


First CX400 generator set built by Centrax sold to Engie, a French energy management company, for a district heating project – delivered in time for the following winter’s heating season.


Rolls-Royce sells its Energy gas turbine and compressor business to Siemens Energy.


Centrax becomes the preferred route to market for the Siemens SGT-300 and SGT-400 gas turbines for industrial power generation in 31 European countries.
1 million hours reached on four CX501-KB5 units at Smurfit Kappa Roermond Papier, the Netherlands.


First CX300 sold.


In Memory of Richard Henry Howard Barr OBE 1920 – 2021
RHH Barr Obituary