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Kent Renewable Energy Plant commences operations

In the United Kingdom (UK), Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners K/S (CIP), a Denmark-headed fund management company focused on energy infrastructure including renewables has announced that the 27 MWe biomass-fired combined heat and power plant (CHP) Kent Renewable Energy (KRE), has successfully commenced operations. It is the third biomass plant project completed by CIP in the UK.

Kent Renewable Energy’s 27 MWe biomass combined heat and power plant has begun operations (photo courtesy CIP).

Located in Sandwich, Kent, Kent Renewable Energy (KRE) generates renewable heat and power that is supplied to the nearby business and science park, Discovery Park, and to local power consumers connected to UKPN’s grid. The woody biomass is sourced locally and supplied by EuroForest, the UK’s largest independent provider of timber harvesting and marketing services.

The plant commenced commercial operations on September 13, only 25 months after Financial Close and two months ahead of schedule, to specification and within budget. Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor A/S (BWSC), the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor has successfully led the construction and taken the plant into commercial operations with zero “Lost Time Incidents”. BWSC will continue as the operations and maintenance (O&M) contractor.

After a 25-month successful construction period, this is the moment we have all been looking forward to. We are delighted to see renewable power and heat being generated and delivered to local customers based on locally sourced wood. We have completed yet another successful biomass project ahead of time and within budget in strong cooperation with local authorities and our business partners incl. BWSC, EuroForest and Discovery Park, and we look forward to the continued cooperation for the next 20 years or more of plant operations, said Christina Grumstrup Sørensen, Senior Partner with CIP.

Kent Renewable Energy is majority-owned by Copenhagen Infrastructure II (CI II), a fund managed by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners. CI II owns the plant together with BWSC and Estover Energy Ltd, who has developed the project. CI II has invested around GBP150 million (≈ EUR 169 million) of equity in Kent Renewable Energy.

The plant capacity of 27 MWe will be sufficient to serve roughly 50 000 homes with the 11 MWth steam offtake to Discovery Park. The project has created the equivalent of more than 250 direct full-time jobs during the construction phase.

Approximately 30 jobs will be established on site to operate the plant for its lifetime of 20 years. Kent Renewable Energy will operate under the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) and Renewable Obligation Certificate (ROC) schemes for heat and power respectively.

The plant is the third biomass power project commissioned by CIP in the UK – in 2016 the 40 MWe straw-fired Brigg Renewable Energy Plant (BREP) in North Lincolnshire was opened and in May 2017, the 44 MWe biomass-fired Snetterton Renewable Energy Plant (SREP) in Norfolk was commissioned.

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