12 January 2018 by Elizabeth Slow

Testing starts at Hoddesdon gasification plant

A flagship gasification facility in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, is running potentially a year behind schedule.

The £60 million advanced conversion treatment (ACT) plant, being developed by AssetGen Partners was expected to become operational in early 2017. It is now believed to be in the late stages of construction: the reason for the delay has not been disclosed.

Hoddesdon Advanced Thermal Treatment Plant, at Ratty’s Lane

Sources close to the project have confirmed it will become operational in 2018. It is thought that some testing is currently taking place involving refuse derived fuel (RDF) and urea.

The main contractor for engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of the facility is construction company, Bouygues Energies & Services. Bouygues will also manage operation and maintenance of the plant for a period of 10 years.

Technology

The gasification technology is being provided by Biomass Power Hoddesdon Limited – linked to Biomass Power Limited – based in Stafford.

Last month (December 2017), Bouygues entered into a “Deed of Variation” with the subcontractor, Biomass Power Hoddesdon Limited.

In an accounts document for Biomass Power Hoddesdon Limited published on Companies House, it is stated: “This contract variation has limited all Performance and Delay damages to that which can be recovered under the insurance policies in place.”

“The variation also effected the assignment of all Sub-subcontractors to Bouygues, and payments to these suppliers will continue to be made through the Biomass Power Hoddesdon Ltd bank account.”

A comment has been requested from Bouygues. A spokesman for Biomass Power Hoddesdon said that they could not comment on the matter.

Saxlund, which is part of the Trention AB energy and environmental technology group, has been contracted to provide a ‘Push Floor’ fuel storage system for the facility, as well as discharge bunkers (see letsrecycle.com story).

Saxlund said the push floor technology which will be installed at Hoddesdon will be similar to technology at Slough Heat and Power

The ‘Push Floor’ technology, said the company, will limit the opportunity for RDF to degrade or compact, with a reciprocating action back and forth across the bunker floor continuously breaking up material.

The Hoddesdon ACT will have capacity to treat over 90,000 tonnes of RDF and will be capable of producing 10MW of power for the National Grid.

Investors

It is said that the facility will be the first commercial scale, RDF gasification plant to be construction financed by third party investors with Foresight Group as Fund Manager. The plant reached financial close in 2015.

Investors in the project include Noy Fund (based in Israel), energy solutions provider P3P partners, and waste-to-energy investor, Bioenergy Infrastructure Group (BIG).

Originally the Green Investment Bank (GIB) and its partner Foresight Group, injected £30 million into the project. But, following the acquisition of GIB by global banking firm, Macquarie Group, BIG acquired four of its biomass and waste-to-energy facilities.

BIG’s investment was made in partnership with the Hancock Renewable Energy Group, based in the US. BIG is believed to be a 25% shareholder in the project.

When contacted by letsrecycle.com, Nigel Aitchison, responsible for bioenergy and waste infrastructure sectors at Foresight Group, was unavailable for comment.

RDF

RDF for the plant is to be supplied by waste management firms Biffa and Powerday – both companies currently send a significant proportion of the RDF that they produce overseas for incineration. It is expected that the gate fee for the Hoddesdon plant will be lower than that charged for export RDF.


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