Our History

OUR HISTORY

Centrax was founded in 1946 by Richard H H Barr OBE and the late 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 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, alongside the Siemens SGT300 and SGT400 engines.

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

1946

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

1955

Relocation to Newton Abbot.

1962

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

1968

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.

1969

Centrax wins a Queen’s Award to Industry.

1973

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

1974

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.

1979

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

1980

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

1981

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

1982

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

1984

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.

1986

First turnkey project in UK at landfill site near Birmingham.

1987

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

1988

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.

1989

First CMC signed by Papelera Castilla, Spain.

1990

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.

1991

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

1993

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

1994

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

1995

The Allison Engine Company is bought by Rolls-Royce.

1996

Opening of service depots in the Netherlands and France.

1997

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

2000

First unit sold in Poland to Ostrów.

2004

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

2007

First CX501-KB7 sold into Russia and agreement signed with Rolls-Royce to package the Industrial Trent 60 package.

2009

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

2010

Centrax wins a Queen’s Award for Enterprise – Export Achievement.
Opening of Centrax Rus and in-country service depot in St Petersburg, Russia.

2011

Agreement reached with Siemens to package their SGT300 and 400 engines in Centrax generator packages for the UK, France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Italy. First two Trent 60s successfully commissioned at Ajka in Hungary.

2012

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.

2014

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

2015

Centrax becomes the preferred route to market for the Siemens SGT300 and SGT400 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.

2016

First CX300 (8.5MW) sold.