New contractors appointed for delayed £200m waste to energy plant in Hull

Energy Works in Hull
Energy Works in Hull
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New contractors have been appointed to oversee final commissioning of the delayed £200m Energy Works scheme in Hull.

It comes after MW High Tech Projects UK Ltd had its engineering, procurement and construction contract terminated last month following "significant delays".

Archive pic: A worker in the materials pretreatment area area on the site of the 200m Energy Works Hull

Archive pic: A worker in the materials pretreatment area area on the site of the 200m Energy Works Hull

Now global engineering firm Black & Veatch has been engaged to oversee the final stages of work.

No timescale has been given for when the plant, which will be the biggest of its type in the country, will start generating electricity.

It was originally scheduled to open in April 2018.

It will take 240,000 tonnes of mostly black-bin “residual” household waste from councils across the country, which has already had valuable steel and non-ferrous metals like aluminium taken out, with Hull providing about a fifth of its annual fuelstock.

Pic taken 2017: The Energy Works site in Hull

Pic taken 2017: The Energy Works site in Hull

The project doesn’t involve incineration, but a process called fluidised bed gasification where waste is suspended in air.

Without sufficient oxygen to burn it, it turns into ash and gives off a “syngas" which turns a turbine to create electricity - around 24MW of electricity - enough to power 40,000 homes.

It comes a week after Bioenergy Infrastructure Group (BIG), which is one of the shareholders of the Hull plant, announced that its 170,000 tonnes-per-year capacity waste wood gasification facility, Ince Bio Power, near Ellesmere Port in Cheshire is now fully operational.

Both use the same advanced conversion technology, and while Ince Bio Power is currently the largest in the UK, it will be overtaken by the Hull facility.

Hamish McPherson, CEO of BIG said: “Black & Veatch has demonstrated both technical capability and organisational commitment to the renewable energy industry, including as a lead contractor at our Ince Bio Power project in Cheshire, and we are delighted to have brought them on board in Hull."

Workers last month described being escorted off the site by people in suits.

Around 500 were employed at the peak of construction, which was marked by several walkouts. Nearly 300 downed tools in January over health and safety concerns.

Some 25 permanent staff will be employed when the scheme is up and running.