The largest wood gasifier plant in the UK is now fully operational.
The site in Ince, Cheshire, which is owned by Bioenergy Infrastructure Group (BIG), uses advanced thermal treatment (ATT) technology, otherwise known as gasification, which is an alternative to incineration that turns waste into a combustible gas by heating it in an ‘almost’ oxygen-free environment.
Each year, the site will process up to 170,000 tonnes of waste wood, converting this fuel into 21.5MW of electricity, enough to power over 40,000 homes. BIG claim the plant will deliver a net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions worth around 65,000 tonnes of CO2 per annum, the equivalent of taking more than 40,000 cars off the road.
Around 150 jobs were created during the construction of the new plant, which will be operated and managed by about 25 full-time employees.
Neil Bennett, chief commercial officer, BIG, said: ‘We are delighted that Ince is now fully operational and will continue to generate clean, base-load, renewable energy for the people of the north-west of England. This is not only a significant milestone for Ince but also an important moment in the development of gasification facilities in the UK, which are a sustainable alternative to incineration.
‘With several other assets nearing completion of commissioning, BIG is well on the way to being able to deliver our wider strategy of generating more than 200MW of low carbon renewable energy each year from waste and biomass. This will sustainably support the UK’s increasingly electricity-intensive economy and help generate employment and economic development across the UK.’
In addition to Ince, BIG also owns and operates waste wood biomass plants in Birmingham, Northern Ireland and Widnes. They are also in the late stages of construction and development of new plants in Hull, Lanark in Scotland and Hoddesdon in Hertfordshire.