New gasification plant signals industry shift to energy from waste says MWH

As a new energy from waste plant in Northamptonshire achieves financial close, MWH says the industry is shifting to such schemes to help fill the energy gap.

MWH Treatment have secured their second gasification EPC contract for an innovative £51.6 M waste wood gasification project, Welland Bio Power Plant, Northamptonshire. The plant’s design, construction, operation and maintenance will be fully delivered by MWH Treatment with an aim of providing the equivalent of 17,000 homes with electricity from waste wood by March 2017.

“This new plant signals that the UK is looking towards more energy from waste solutions, “said Ian Miller, operations director for MWH. “This will be the second power plant of its type and we think this new deal signals an industry shift towards similar types of projects moving forward, in order to help fill the energy gap that currently exists as well as diverting waste from landfill. We are working on a number of similar projects, and this gives us a great deal of confidence for the future.”

The project has been developed by Cogen (formerly Carbonarius) andBalfour Beatty, with investment partnersNoy Infrastructure & Energy Investment Fund and Equitix MA Infrastructure Fund, will each invest £17.2 million. The facility will be supplied with approximately 60,000 dry tonnes of wood waste annually which will be supplied by local company Welland Waste Management Limited.

“This new plant signals that the UK is looking towards more energy from waste solutions" - Ian Miller

Welland Bio Power plant will make a positive contribution to the local community and the environment, not only securing sustainable electricity source but also helping to save over half a million tonnes of CO2 over the course of the project’s lifetime.  It is forecast to create over 100 construction and 19 full time jobs in the process, as well as supporting local business growth.  

“Getting these projects over the line requires a lot of effort from all the various parties to the scheme plus all the advisors,” said Miller. “Our prior relationship with Cogen was hugely important and Balfour Beatty Investments have helped the process along. Everyone involved has a mutual interest in delivering but aligning different parties is always a challenge.”

This is the MWH’s second waste wood gasification project in the UK, following the MWH Treatment EPC contract for the Birmingham Bio Power plant at Tyseley, which is scheduled for completion and launch in early 2016.

MWH Treatment will install state-of-the-art equipment with the core gasification technology again being provided by Nexterra Systems Inc of Canada. The project will qualify for renewable obligations certificates, a Government mechanism for renewable energy support, as an advanced conversion technology.

Similar in size to the Tyseley project, much of the design and learning from the earlier Birmingham scheme will be utilised in Wellland. The main differences between the two schemes relate to site specifics, namely ground conditions, planning requirements and layout, alongside the grid connection at 33KV.

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