UK waste disposal company proposes biomass power plant

By Lisa Gibson
Posted December 4, 2009, at 10:32 a.m. CST

U.K.-based Bronzeoak Thermal has proposed a 12.7 megawatt biomass power plant on its former special waste disposal site at Castle Cary, Somerset.

The facility would use about 136,000 metric tons of waste wood, virgin wood, energy crops and waste biomass per year, according to the company, and would create 20 jobs. The project will be designed to combust a small fraction-less than 20 percent-of refuse-derived fuel or solid recovered fuel, according to Hugh Unwin, Bronzeoak commercial manager. An animal carcass incinerator was operated on the site from 1999 to 2006, according to Unwin. The company specializes in waste disposal operations.

The plant will use moving grate boiler technology to generate electricity for the export grid, Unwin said. "We are currently exploring opportunities to co-locate an industrial heat user on site, but as of yet nothing is confirmed," he said. The fuel supply is under negotiation and a power purchase agreement is not yet in place.

The company anticipates construction on the site will start in 2011 and take about 24 months. Planning and environmental consents are still needed, along with other contracts and agreements, Unwin said. Capital costs and sources of funding are commercially sensitive at this stage, he added, but disclosed that Bronzeoak intends to finance a significant portion of the project with nonrecourse project finance debt.

The special waste disposal facility on the site was decommissioned in 2007 following the end of the U.K.'s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Over Thirty Month Scheme for cattle, which prohibited beef from animals aged over 30 months from entering the food chain.