Friday, April 6, 2018

News: Construction phase complete at new Rotherham power plant

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Lead contractor, Interserve, has completed the construction phase of the Templeborough Biomass Power Plant. Commissioning is underway and operators are planning to start generating clean, green electricity by the summer.

Construction began on the project in 2015. The Brite Partnership secured planning permission in 2010 for the development at the Firth Rixson Ickles Works at Templeborough where land and disused buildings where purchased in March 2011. The plant will generate heat and power from carbon-neutral renewable wood pellet fuel.

Also in 2015 it was announced that Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CI) had acquired 100% of the project for £150m and created Templeborough Biomass Power Plant Limited to take the development forward.

The wood reception and handling facilities are complete, this is where the wood fuel arrives as wood chips. The wood storage building is fully enclosed and the fuel cranes that will mix the wood and place it on the conveyor ready to go to the boiler are in place.

Stobart Biomass Products signed a 20 year contract to supply waste wood to the plant. It has taken on a former Rotherham Council depot to create a storage and processing plant.

The first supply of wood was received in January which was used to test and commission the cranes, making sure they are ready for use.

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At the weir on the River Don, a fish pass has been completed. For the first time in 150 years salmon have been seen as far up the river as Doncaster, and with the Templeborough weir pass completed there is only one more needed at Forge Island, and the Salmon will be able to return to their spawning grounds.

Babcock & Wilcox Vølund A/S, the Danish subsidiary of the giant US Babcock & Wilcox Company, designed and manufactured the plant and will also be responsible for its operation.

With the operations and maintenance team in place, commissioning is taking place in two parts - cold and then hot commissioning. Tubes, pipes, fans and conveyors have already been tested.

Hot commissioning involves steam blowing to ensure all the debris, dust and any other small contaminants from the construction of the boiler and all the pipe work have been cleaned out. This makes sure that the turbine will work safely and efficiently when operation begins.

Starting at the end of March, steam blows involve starting up the boiler, building up steam pressure and temperature in the pipe system before releasing the pressure via a temporary steam blow pipe, sending a plume of steam in the sky.

The plant is expected to generate first power to the grid by the end of April.

In an update, the operators said: "During this whole period, we will have carried out all the required tests to ensure the power generated is safe and reliable, then we can start generating electricity and sending it to the national grid for use in homes and businesses across the region in full commercial operation by the end of Summer 2018."

Whilst generating power, the plant also generates heat and discussions are underway over a network to serve parts of the borough.

A spokesperson for the company added: "We are currently working with the local council to look at the feasibility of building a local heat network to supply local communities with a renewable source of heat which could compete with their existing gas or electricity supplier."

Consultants, Green Directions has developed a proposal for a £16m heat network to serve the centre of Rotherham and major businesses including Liberty Steel and Steelphalt.

Templeborough Biomass Power Plant website

Images: Templeborough Biomass

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