7 November 2019 by Joshua Doherty

Cheshire West and Chester backs Protos gasifier

Cheshire West and Chester council has unanimously approved plans for a 175,000 tonne-per-year capacity gasification plant at Protos, near Ellesmere Port.

The facility is being developed by Progressive Energy and will look to generate ‘renewable gas’ from ‘unrecyclable wood’ and refuse derived fuel.

This will be sourced primarily from the local region and discussions are ongoing with suitable suppliers, Progressive Energy confirmed.

UK-based Progressive Energy describes itself as “a clean energy project development company with experience across a wide range of low carbon energy solutions”.

In a statement the company claimed that the plant – which will begin construction next year before aiming to be operational in 2022 – will be the UK’s first commercial scale Bio-Substitute Natural Gas (BioSNG) plant.

The facility will use a thermal treatment gasification process whereby waste derived fuel is heated in a controlled environment to produce a combustible synthetic gas (SYN-Gas).

An artist’s impression of the Protos energy site, where the plant will be located

Gas formed will then be used in the transport sector, generating enough fuel to power up to 1,000 low carbon HGVs and buses every year, according to Progressive Energy.

Commenting after the plans were approved this week (5 November), Chris Manson-Whitton, director of Progressive Energy, said:“ The decision is a huge step forward to providing a reliable and renewable gas for transport fleets across the North West and beyond.

“This is just the first of many BioSNG plants that could be built across the country, helping to transform our transport sector and make a huge contribution to tackling climate change.”

Investment

According to Progressive Energy,  the development represents an investment of £150m and will create around 300 jobs at Protos during construction. Once operational, it is expected to create 35 full time, high-skilled jobs.

The plant will be on Peel Environmental’s £700 million flagship energy hub which is located within a newly created Energy Innovation District.

According to Peel, the district, located between the cities of Chester, Liverpool and Manchester, consists of an existing cluster of energy related industry, including large scale energy assets.

Jayne Hennessy, a director at Peel Environmental added: “This is another example of how Cheshire is leading the way on the clean growth agenda. Decarbonising the region, and safeguarding industry and jobs, is going to require many innovative solutions.

“Progressive Energy’s ground-breaking project will be a great fit for Protos where we’re clustering together low carbon energy generation to drive down the cost of clean energy and attract new businesses, jobs and investment.”

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