Port Clarence switch to EfW ‘under consideration’

Glennmont Partners says it is seeking a “positive solution” for the 325,000 tonnes-per-year capacity Port Clarence biomass project, with a switch to energy from waste (EfW) technology a possibility.

Port Clarence biomass
The plant was mothballed in 2018 and could now become an EfW facility

The £160 million plant was mothballed in April 2019 when its main contractors Babcock & Wilcox Volund reached a settlement with Glenmont to exit the site.

The waste wood biomass plant was initially due to come online in 2018 but was hit by a series of delays.

These delays meant it missed out on the government’s Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs) subsidy scheme, given to biomass plants to create renewable electricity. This scheme had a deadline of September 2018, by which time the plants had to enter commissioning.

While Glennmont could benefit from the Contracts for Difference system, few waste wood biomass plants have taken this route, and a switch to EfW technology could prove more lucrative.

A spokesperson from Glennmont said: “Work is still continuing to find a positive outcome for the Port Clarence energy plant. One option that’s been under consideration is a conversion to an energy from waste plant.”

Construction

Construction of the facility began in 2015 and around 40 people were employed on the site (see letsrecycle.com story). This rose to around 300 during peak construction.

Port Clarence biomass
Representatives from the council and Glennmont Partners attended the official groundbreaking ceremony in 2015

Situated on the banks of the River Tees at Clarence Works, the facility secured planning permission from Stockton-on-Tees borough council in 2014 (see letsrecycle.com story).

Funding was provided by Glenmont Partners with debt arranged and provided by Deutsche Bank and Danske Bank, supported by EKF, the export credit agency of Denmark.

Supply

Biomass fuel company Stobart Energy won a contract to supply the plant with 250,000 tonnes of waste wood in 2015 (see letsrecycle.com story).

When the deal was announced, it was said that the company would begin supplying wood from both commercial and local authority sources from late 2017, with around 3.5 million tonnes of material sent to Port Clarence during the lifetime of the contract.

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