BioGen Power, one of the UK's fastest growing renewable energy companies, has gained planning permission to build a clean energy recovery facility at Newport Docks in Monmouthshire, South Wales.
It has selected Energos as technology partner, whose gasification systems have a 12 year track record of successful operation at six facilities in Norway and Germany, with a seventh plant recently opened on the Isle of Wight.
The advanced thermal conversion facility will have the capacity to process 120,000 tonnes of residual, non recyclable industrial, commercial and municipal waste from South East Wales.
It will generate 12 MWe of renewable electricity, sufficient to power 18,000 homes and the equivalent output of 22 large wind turbines. Biogen Power is also confident that the waste heat can be recovered for use by neighbouring businesses, or through a nearby district heating scheme.
The plant will take two years to build, starting in 2010 and with completion scheduled for 2012. It will create up to 150 local construction jobs and 30 skilled, 'green collar' jobs.
Christian Reeve, Chief Executive of BioGen Power, said: "This is a highly suitable industrial location with good electricity connection, direct links to the highway, high potential for heat recovery and close proximity to waste customers. As such, there were no objections from statutory consultees or the general public.
"We have plans to develop 12 gasification from waste plants in the UK and conducted a worldwide search to identify Energos as the best technology provider. Critically, this means we can offer a commercially proven, financially viable process that sets new standards of emissions performance and is a best practice alternative to incineration and landfill."
Nick Dawber, managing director of Energos, added: "BioGen Power and Energos share the same ambition to develop small scale facilities that can provide a local community-sized solution for local residual waste. This means that we can optimise heat recovery and eliminate unnecessary transport. This is our second joint project to get off the ground, with construction due to start later this year on an 80,000 tonne plant in Irvine, Scotland."
The Energos patented gasification technology is an advanced two-stage thermal treatment process that converts residual, non-recyclable waste into a gas by using the heat of partial combustion to liberate the hydrogen and carbon within the waste.
Residual waste is fed into the gasification chamber, where it is manufactured into a syngas. This syngas is then transferred to a secondary oxidation chamber where it is fully combusted in a controlled environment that enables much tighter control than can be achieved in conventional energy from waste plants - resulting in extremely low emissions. The resulting heat energy is used to produce steam, which can be used to supply renewable heat and/or electricity.
On the Isle of Wight, Energos has recently opened the UK's first fully developed gasification plant to operate on a municipal waste stream. This is the first time that advanced thermal conversion technology has been applied in this way. It is part of the Department of Environment, food and Rural Affairs' New Technology Demonstrator Programme and received a 2008 Renewable Energy Award for Innovation.
The track record of all the operating Energos plants shows that dioxin emissions are typically 1% of the EU safe limit. This is achieved by the extremely effective control of the combustion of the syngas in the second stage combined with the unique design of the boiler system that cools the gas down rapidly to reduce the reformation of dioxins.
Finally, any residual dioxins are removed using carbon and a filter to remove dust particles. Its plants operate with NOx emissions of less than 25% of the EU limit, without any form of de-NOX system. At the same time CO and TOC emissions are also much lower than the limits and process stability is excellent.
Energos' is the only energy from municipal waste process that has preliminary accreditation for Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs) and its advanced gasification process qualifies for maximum double ROCs.