Construction start for Isle of Wight gasification plant

18 September 2007

Construction on a gasification plant under the government's £30 million New Technologies Demonstrator Programme is set to begin this month on the Isle of Wight.

The Isle of Wight council has announced that its technology partner Energos is on schedule to start building an £8 million facility at the end of September.

Waste currently send to landfill will be diverted for processing in the new facility

Bruce Gilmore, Island Waste Services

Once built, the plant on Forest Road, Newport, will have the capacity to turn 30,000 tonnes of waste-derived fuel each year into a fuel gas.

The facility had been one of two gasification projects in Defra's waste technology demonstration initiative before the withdrawal of Novera's Rainham plant last month (see story). Defra has provided 35% of the start-up costs - about £2.7 million - for the plant.

The Energos plant on the Isle of Wight is now expected to be completed by the end of this year, to be fully operational in early 2008.

Tony Grimshaw, project director at Energos, said: "This project will deliver significant environmental benefits to Isle of Wight Residents. It is on course, on budget and on time."


Energos is part of the Manchester-based ENER-G Group, which has already established six plants in Norway and Germany over the past decade.

The Isle of Wight facility is being built to take in refuse-derived fuel produced by Biffa subsidiary Island Waste Services at its existing recovery facility on the island. The annual 30,000 tonnes of fuel will be made from an annual 60,000 tonnes of household waste, once recyclable materials have been extracted and the material dried.

At present, the majority of black bag waste on the island is turned into floc fuel which is either incinerated at the site or sent off the island for incineration. Overall Energos said the new plant would mean an additional 15,000 tonnes of waste would be diverted from material compared to current levels.

The new investment in recycling equipment and gasification technology will enable the Isle of Wight council to become more self-sufficient with regards to managing its residents' waste.

The gasification process involves material being converted into a gas at high temperatures in controlled conditions, with the resultant gas used to generate electricity. The Energos system involves a two-stage process of pyrolysis and gasification, and will generate 2.3MW of electricity, the equivalent of enough electricity to power more than 2,000 homes.

Bruce Gilmore, general manager of Island Waste Services, said: "The additional fuel requirements of the new facility will mean that waste currently send to landfill will be diverted for processing in the new facility."

He added: "This will demonstrate the capability of the technology to divert post-recycling refuse from landfill, therefore extending the life of the landfill site and helping the Isle of Wight council to meet its Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme targets."