Air Products EfW facility nears completion

By Tom Goulding

Work on a 350,000 tonne capacity gasification plant in Tees Valley is nearing completion, with commercial operations due to begin by mid-2014.

Industrial gas and equipment supplier Air Products will treat municipal, commercial and industrial waste at its energy-from-waste facility near Billingham, diverting it from privately-owned Impetus nearby landfill site.

The 350,000 tonne capacity Air Products gasification plant will cost an estimated 320 million
The 350,000 tonne capacity Air Products gasification plant will cost an estimated 320 million

Air Products has not revealed whether contracts to supply waste to feed the plant have been secured, but told letsrecycle.com all waste would derive from the local area.

The plant gained planning permission from Stockton-on-Tees borough council in August 2011, while environmental permits needed to operate the site have also been granted by the Environment Agency (see letsrecycle.com story).

Costing an estimated $500 million (320 million), the facility has been funded almost entirely by the US-based company, with a 260,000 government grant also awarded by One North East in 2010.

Plasma

Once operational, the plant will use advanced oxygen assisted plasma gasification technology provided by Canada-based specialist AlterNRG to convert pre-processed waste into electricity – enough to power 50,000 homes.

The materials will move downward in the gasifier and be heated by plasma torches to temperatures in excess of 1,200 degrees celsius, producing a synthetic gas comprising mainly of carbon monoxide and hydrogren that is partially quenched as it exits the top of the vessel.

The non-organic by-product of the gasification process, known as slag, could be recycled for use in road bedding and other construction based applications, while Air Products is also looking to produce hydrogen for use in zero-emission vehicles.

The facility provided 700 jobs at the peak of construction, and will provide 50 full time jobs including engineers and maintenance workers when it begins operations.

TV2

Meanwhile, Air Products has received planning permission to build a second plant in Tees Valley on adjacent land in the Reclamation Pond area, where its first site is situated.

The gasification facility, which secured planning permission from Stockton-on-Tees borough council in July, is expected to be a similar size to the adjacent plant. A start date for construction is yet to be announced.

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Air Products

A spokesman for Air Products told letsrecycle.com: So far everything is going well, the relationship Air Products has with the local agency has been very good and obviously that is one of the reasons they are wanting to build another plant on an adjacent site: Tees Valley Two (TV2). There is belief in the technology, they have a great location, and all the ticks are in all the boxes.

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