Biomass CHP plant proposed in England

By Lisa Gibson | January 18, 2011

Evonik New Energies UK Ltd. and renewable energy developer HES Biopower Ltd. have proposed a biomass combined-heat-and-power (CHP) plant for the county of Kent in the southeast corner of England.

The two have formed a joint venture company, Biomass Power Plant Ridham Ltd., and plan to site the facility on industrial land at Ridham Dock, selling 35 megawatts of steam to potential users on-site and supplying 25 megawatts of electricity to the public grid.

The plant would use about 160,000 metric tons (176,000 tons) of regionally sourced nonrecyclable waste wood that would normally go to landfills, according to Evonik. More than 6.6 million tons of nonrecyclable waste wood is produced annually in the U.K., with Kent alone generating more than 110,000 tons, according to Evonik. The U.K. has a renewables goal of 15 percent by 2020 and the government supports new technologies for energy generation through multiple incentives including feed-in tariffs and renewable certificates.

If approved, the Kent facility would create 30 permanent jobs, along with further temporary jobs during construction and through contracts for service and materials. Potential heat partnerships with local businesses would also contribute to long-term economic development stability in the region, according to Evonik.

"This is a really exciting development for the area in supporting its endeavors to reach landfill diversion and renewable energy targets,” said Juergen Kirsch, Evonik project manager. “Together with our partner HES Biopower this development will add to our growing portfolio of renewable energy operations in the U.K.”

Evonik and HES Biopower are undertaking an information and consultation process to ensure local businesses, residents and groups are informed and engaged in the planning process and their views are taken into account, they said. The consultation consists of a public exhibition, newsletters and presentations, all of which will be publicly available.

The companies have submitted their planning application to the Kent County Council and expect a decision later this year, according to Evonik.