Bioenergy Infrastructure Group (“BIG”), an independent power producer specialising in energy-from-waste and biomass, has announced that one of its largest assets in the UK, Ince Bio Power, has become fully operational after successfully completing its testing phase.
The BIG-owned facility, which is located near Ellesmere Port in Ince, Cheshire, is the largest plant of its kind operating in the UK.
It 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 a virtually oxygen-free environment.
Energy Works Hull in East Yorkshire and Levenseat in Lanarkshire, which also are owned by BIG, employ the same ATT technology.
Ince Bio Power, which will receive its official opening in summer 2019, uses waste wood to generate low carbon energy. Each year, it 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.
“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.”
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 Ince Bio Power. The plant will be operated and managed by about 25 full-time employees.
The facility is located within Protos, a £700m energy hub owned by Peel Environmental, part of Peel L&P, an infrastructure developer in the waste, mineral and environmental technology sectors. The Protos site is expected to create over 3,000 jobs and provide a £350 million boost to the economy.
BIG also controls a co-located waste wood processing facility at Protos with its fuel supply partner. Together with BIG’s waste wood plant at nearby Widnes, these facilities dominate the regional demand for waste wood fuels.
Neil Bennett, Chief Commercial Officer, Bioenergy Infrastructure Group, 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.
“I would like to thank all our contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and partners for their contribution and support throughout this process.
“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.”
Jane Gaston, Development Director at Peel Environmental, part of Peel L&P, said: “This is a significant step forward for Protos and the creation of a strategic and self-sustaining energy hub in the North West. Facilities such as this are vitally important in the transition to a low carbon economy and meeting the Government’s clean growth agenda.
“The supply of a local, sustainable and secure source of energy only goes to reaffirm this region’s position as the industrial powerhouse of the UK, making it even more attractive to businesses both at home and overseas.”
In addition to Ince, BIG also owns and operates operational energy from waste wood biomass plants in Birmingham, Northern Ireland and Widnes. Other assets in BIG’s portfolio that are in the late stages of construction and development are located in Hull, Lanark in Scotland and Hoddesdon in Hertfordshire.