Murphy reaches milestone on biomass CHP plant

By Murphy & Sons Ltd. | October 17, 2016

Murphy & Sons Ltd. has successfully completed the first phase of work on the UK’s first large-scale reheat biomass combined-heat-and-power (CHP) plant.

Murphy has installed over 6,600 meters of cable ducts, across a range of terrain, in preparation of installing the 66 kV circuit in early 2017, at the £138 million Cramlington plant in Northumberland.

Murphy now begins constructing the plant substation and compound, breaking ground on site this month.

The combined-heat-and-power biomass plant uses reheat technology, which is relatively new to power plants of this size. Steam will be led through two heating processes and two turbines, instead of one, for increased energy use. This improves fuel efficiency, achieving a higher output and economic and environmental benefits.

The Cramlington plant will have an output of 27.8 MW, generating 223 GWh of renewable electricity. Power will be generated sustainably from virgin wood, forest residues and clean, recycled waste wood. It is expected that carbon dioxide emissions will be reduced by 56,000 metric tons annually, compared to a gas-fired power plant.

The contract was awarded by Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractors A/S in October 2015 and Murphy was tasked with the cabling and civils design stage, civil duct route construction, substation and compound construction and fit-out, as well as commissioning and installing the 66kV equipment and cable systems.

Murphy was selected to deliver this project based on its well-established experience in combined heat and power (CHP) plants, combined with substation construction, fit-out and delivery, as well as its in-house cabling capabilities.

Vincent Bowler, operations director for Murphy’s power sector, said, “This is a great milestone to have reached. We have installed thousands of meters of ducting underneath major arterial roads and industrial landscapes across Northumberland while at the same time minimizing the impact on the local community.

“We will now focus on the next stage of the project, to construct the substation and infrastructure needed so that residents can soon benefit from sustainable and efficient power.”

A spokesperson for BWSC Electrical said, “Murphy was awarded the contract as they offered the best set-up and capabilities. It was important to us that we were dealing with an experienced and reliable supplier and we have been pleased with the cooperation by Murphy.”

As well as supplying low carbon electricity to National Grid, the plant will also directly supply electricity and heat to two pharmaceutical companies on a direct wire and pipeline basis.

Work is due to be completed next summer (2017).