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Energy pellet plans for Uskmouth Power Station revealed

In the UK, SIMEC Atlantis Energy Ltd (Atlantis), a diversified sustainable energy generation company, has revealed details surrounding plans for its flagship Uskmouth Power Station coal to energy pellet conversion project in Wales. The Environmental Planning and Permitting (EPP) contract for the 363 MW power station conversion and construction of an N+P energy pellet plant on land adjacent has been awarded to international consultancy firm RPS.

As part of its Uskmouth Power Station coal to energy pellet conversion project, SIMEC Atlantis Energy plans to build an energy pellet adjacent to the power station via a joint venture with N+P Group. The energy pellet plant will divert around 600 000 tonnes of non-recyclable plastic and paper waste per annum from landfill (photo courtesy SIMEC Atlantis Energy).

According to Atlantis, post-conversion, the power station will export 220 MW of baseload power to the grid using energy pellets produced from non-recyclable waste destined for landfill, with an average calorific value of 20 MJ per kg. The energy pellets will be produced using technology developed by Dutch company N+P Group, with one of four new UK pellet facilities to be developed on land adjacent to the Uskmouth Power Station.

The waste-derived pellet facility at Uskmouth will be developed through be a 50:50 joint venture between N+P Group and SIMEC Energy, a member of the GFG Alliance, called SIMEC Subcoal Fuels Ltd (SSF). The conversion is expected to take 18 months post completion of front-end engineering and design (FEED) with a target of first production in Q4 2020 and the converted station will have an operational life of 20 years.

The Environmental Planning and Permitting (EPP) contract has been awarded to RPS, that will work with the teams at Uskmouth and SSF to facilitate the EPP requirements for the Uskmouth conversion and construction of an N+P energy pellet plant on land adjacent to the Power Station. The Uskmouth team have already initiated baseline ecological surveys at the site.

RPS’ consenting experts have an unrivalled track record of advising our clients on major infrastructure projects in energy and we have helped shape and secure numerous sites and high volumes of new capacity. We are proud of the contribution we have made on behalf of our clients in the UK renewable energy sector and we are very excited to be working together with Simec Atlantis Energy with its transformational plans at Uskmouth, said Dan Smyth, Director – Major Infrastructure projects at RPS.

Atlantis has been awarded the Management Services Agreement (MSA) in relation to the consenting process for the SSF pellet plant to be built adjacent to the Uskmouth Power Station. When completed, the SSF pellet plant will convert 600 000 tonnes per annum of non-recyclable waste destined for landfill into energy pellets to be used as fuel at the Power Station.

Energy pellet development

Atlantis, in collaboration with its project partners SSF, says that it has made “significant progress” in the development of a waste-derived energy pellet that could have applications for coal-fired power station conversion opportunities around the world and will be utilised at the “pioneering” Uskmouth plant.

The purpose of this pellet R&D programme is to create a waste-derived fuel pellet that can be used in a multitude of combustion systems with minimal conversion costs allowing existing coal-fired power stations to be converted to combust 100 percent waste-derived fuel, extending operating life, reducing emissions and addressing the global issue of responsible disposal of non-recyclable plastic.

The work we are completing with N+P will deliver an alternative fuel pellet which we expect will be very disruptive in the waste-to-energy and alternative fuel sector. A high energy pellet that burns as clean as natural gas and is capable of addressing the world’s non-recyclable waste problem whilst providing baseload generation and balancing services to the grid to facilitate deeper penetration of renewables is one of the most exciting developments in power generation in the last decade, said Tim Cornelius, CEO of Simec Atlantis Energy.

Energy pellets are composed of a non-recyclable waste otherwise destined for landfill and the “Uskmouth” pellet will consist of 50 percent biogenic material. As a result, the pellets will have lower carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions compared to coal.

The important work we are doing in alternative fuel development will also have implications on power supply for the steel, cement and petrochemical industries. Our super pellet will underpin the growth of our conversions business worldwide as we seek to deliver low emission, subsidy-free baseload generation using non-recyclable plastic and commercial and industrial waste as our feedstock, said Tim Cornelius.

Successful pellet milling trials have been conducted by SSF in the Netherlands in order to adapt their existing processes to produce a fuel pellet with physical characteristics that are ideally suited for SIMEC Uskmouth Power Ltd (SUP).

N+P is proud to be involved in the Uskmouth conversion. Over the summer a lot of work has been done on the Subcoal pellet quality to ensure that we can meet the high standards required in a power station environment. In total, N+P will source over 1.3 million tonnes of non-recyclable paper and plastic waste, which will be utilized at three production locations throughout the UK. These production locations will jointly produce over 900 000 tonnes of Subcoal per annum, which will save approximately 800 000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per annum, commented Lars Jennissen, Technical Director of the N+P Group.

During testing, this proprietary hardened pellet was crushed through both Andritz and CPM hammer mills. The final milled product has particle size reduction prior to combustion within a pulverised fuel furnace which aids more efficient and complete combustion.

We expect that the Uskmouth conversion will be an example for the rest of the world, the Subcoal concept of utilizing non-recyclable waste destined for landfill, to replace hundreds of thousands of tonnes of coal is making a lot of sense, both from an environmental as well as an economic point of view. We hope to copy the concept from Uskmouth to power stations worldwide, ended Lars Jennissen

About SIMEC Uskmouth Power Station

SIMEC Uskmouth Power Ltd is a 363 MW coal-fired power generation plant in South Wales, UK. It is intended that 220 MW of capacity at the Plant will be converted to use an end-of-waste energy pellet as fuel. Atlantis Resources Limited acquired the Power Station in 2018. In return, SIMEC Energy acquired a 49.99 share of Atlantis, which was renamed SIMEC Atlantis Energy Ltd becoming part of the GFG Alliance.

The converted plant, which is intended to enter commercial operations in 2020, will sell all its power under two 20 year power purchase agreements (PPAs) to GFG Alliance companies. The plant will receive fuel under a proposed 20-year fuel supply agreement (FSA) with a joint venture company SIMEC Subcoal Fuels Ltd (SSF)to be partly owned by a Liberty House Group company and partly owned by Dutch recycling group N+P Group BV (N+P).

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