In 2008, the decision was made to opt-out the then coal-fired power station, on the banks of the River Thames in Essex, from the EU’s Large Combustion Plant Directive (LCPD), meaning that the plant would shut after 20,000 hours of operation or by the end of 2015.
In 2010, RWE’s quest for continuous innovation in large-scale energy generation technologies allowed the decision to use these remaining hours of operation to trial Tilbury Power Station as the largest biomass power station in the world. With an electrical output of circa 750 MW the station was converted to run on 100% sustainably-sourced biomass.
The trial of Tilbury on biomass under existing environmental legislation has been a success both commercially and technically.
During 2012, applications were made for work to bring the Tilbury site up to new plant standards and create a dedicated biomass power station that would be operational for the long-term. However, today RWE Generation SE, RWE’s umbrella company for generation and power plant investment in the UK has made the difficult decision to halt progress on this project whilst feasibility options are assessed and reviewed.
Roger Miesen Chief Technical Officer RWE Generation said, “It is with regret that we are announcing the decision to halt the Tilbury Biomass project.”
“This decision has not been taken lightly. Tilbury remains a good site for future power generation. RWE still believes that biomass has a role to play in future power generation and will continue to progress options at strategic sites.”
The current plant will close as announced under the LCPD legislation on 31 October 2013.