UK to get first reheat biomass CHP plant

Danish power plant developer Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor A/S (BWSC) is set to build the UK’s first biomass combined heat and power (CHP) plant using reheat technology, the company has announced.

The 27.8 MW plant is to be located in Cramlington in the north of England, and is planned to come online by the end of 2017. Once completed, the plant will supply power and heating to two pharmaceutical companies, exporting the remaining power to the national grid.

In reheat technology, the steam passes through two heating processes and two turbines, rather than the usual one. Reheat technology, which improves fuel efficiency and boosts output, is used in larger power plants, but is relatively new in a plant of this size, BWSC said.

The project is expected to cost around £137m ($213m), with the UK’s Green Investment Bank and John Laing Group plc providing equity investment. Barclays will provide the remainder of the funding as debt, 60% of which will be guaranteed by the Danish export credit agency Eksport Kredit Fonden (EKF).

The plant will run on  a combination of virgin wood, forest residues from sustainable forestry, and clean recycled waste wood, BWSC said.

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