Isle of Wight gasification plant achieves compliance

1 April 2011

By Chris Sloley

Energos’ beleaguered Isle of Wight gasification facility is operating successfully following a series of closures at the site in 2010 due to emissions limits breaches.

The £8 million plant, which is operated by Energos’ sister company Waste Gas Technology, was closed twice, in the summer and autumn of 2010 (see story), following continued breaches of dioxin emission levels.

The Energos-owned Isle of Wight gasification plant has passed 10 independent emissions tests since it was reopened at  the end of October 2010
The Energos-owned Isle of Wight gasification plant has passed 10 independent emissions tests since it was reopened at the end of October 2010

Energos began taking waste again at the site from October 9 and the company told that it has passed 10 independent emissions tests since then.

Residual waste for treatment is supplied to the site by Island Waste Services, a wholly-owned subsidiary of waste management firm Biffa. Island Waste Services has a long-term contract to deliver waste services to the 61,000 households on the Isle of Wight.

A spokeswoman for Energos told “Since the re-start date, 10 successive independent emissions tests, undertaken as of an agreed plan with the Environment Agency, have demonstrated that operations are fully compliant with the EU Emissions Standard.”


Energos – which is part of Manchester-based renewable energy company ENER-G - said that the Isle of Wight facility was “not typical” of the seven facilities the firm operates throughout Europe.

This is because it was adapted from a pre-existing energy recovery facility on the Forest Road site in Newport. Following the breach of dioxin emission levels, the company identified that the fault arose from within the reused infrastructure – specifically the flue gas filtration system.

The company agreed a plan of operation to ensure the plant would remain within its dioxin emission breach limits, which was developed in partnership with the Environment Agency.

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 Isle of Wight plant involves a two-stage process of pyrolysis and gasification and generates 2.3MW of electricity.


A spokeswoman for the Environment Agency confirmed that the plant was once again accepting waste and said it would continue to work with Energos and Waste Gas Technology.

She told “I can confirm that the plant is currently processing waste, subject to an agreed operational plan which includes a dioxin monitoring programme.  We continue to work with the company and expect to discuss further on-going operational plans with the operator in due course, which will be subject to our agreement.”

The plant was originally part of Defra’s New Technologies Demonstrator Programme and provided 35% of its start-up costs through the initiatives, with £2.7 million of government money going towards the development.


Energos said it had reached agreement with Ofgem regarding the fuel measurement and the monitoring of biomass content and syngas gross calorific value as required to qualify for Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs).

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Environment Agency

Certificates are expected to be issued next month (April) for the initial period from October 2010. The plant receives ROCs due to its status as a gasification and pyrolysis plant, which sees it classified as an Advanced Conversion Technologies.

The facility has processed waste derived fuel delivered since October and is running with a syngas gross calorific value production in excess of the 4MJ/m3 required for double ROCs.