A waste gasification facility with the capacity to process up to 175,000 tonnes of waste wood and refuse derived fuel is under development at the Protos energy hub near Ellesmere Port in Cheshire.
Output from the plant would be used to fuel low carbon HGVs and buses, with an output of up to 320gWh of fuel, developers say.
Infrastructure specialist, Peel Environmental, has signed a deal worth up to £150 million with Progressive Energy to deliver the ‘Bio-Substitute Natural Gas plant’ at the Protos energy hub, which also houses a biomass facility operated by the Bioenergy Infrastructure Group (see letsrecycle.com story).
Peel says the facility will generate renewable gas – BioSNG – a replacement for natural gas that is supplied to homes and businesses.
A planning application for the facility has been submitted to Cheshire West and Chester council, and subject to approval and funding, the plant is due to start production in 2022.
Documents submitted to support the application indicate that the facility will be fed using a feedstock of grade B or C waste wood and refuse derived fuel, using an ‘innovative’ gasification technology and “further onsite processing” to produce a gas capable of being used as a liquefied or compressed natural gas.
Gas from the proposed site will be used in the transport sector, generating enough Bio-Substitute Natural Gas (BioSNG) to power up to 1,000 low carbon HGVs and buses every year.
It is hoped the development will see 500 jobs created at the Protos site during construction, with 35 full time jobs subsequently being created.
Commenting on the partnership, Chris Manson-Whitton, director at Progressive Energy said that despite the UK making good progress in decarbonising its electricity supplies, the transport and heat sectors are “lagging behind”.
“Facilities such as this could make a huge difference, providing renewable gas for transport fleets across the North West and beyond,” Mr Manson-Whitton explained.
He added: “In the future we could see a large proportion of the UK’s HGVs powered by this fuel.”
BioSNG works as a replacement for the regular natural gas that is currently supplied and can be injected into the existing gas network, providing the opportunity for the plant at Protos to “export fuel to the wider UK without the need for any road movements”.
Jayne Hennessy from Peel Environmental, added: “There’s a growing momentum around energy in the North West and projects such as this demonstrate how we’re leading the energy revolution. At Protos we’re delivering innovative low carbon energy solutions that can power the Northern Powerhouse and Progressive Energy’s ground-breaking technology will be a great fit for the site.”
The Protos site is owned by Peel Environmental and is intended to “bring together education and innovation to create a strategic industrial hub at the heart of the North West”. Located between the cities of Chester, Liverpool and Manchester, consists of an existing cluster of energy related industry, including large scale energy assets.
Discussions are also ongoing between Biffa and Covanta for a 350,000 tonnes-per-year energy from waste plant on the site.