Canadian Manufacturing

Vancouver firm to build biomass gasification system in U.K.

Part of $83-million project that will use recovered wood for steam power generation



VANCOUVER and BIRMINGHAM, U.K.—A Vancouver-based firm said it has signed a deal to build a biomass gasification system for a renewable power plant in England.

According to Nexterra Systems Corp., it will design and supply a complete biomass gasification-to-steam generation system from feedstock handling to emission controls, including four gasifiers, a high pressure boiler, and a flue gas treatment system for the Birmingham Bio Power Ltd. (BBPL) power plant in Tyseley, U.K.

The Nexterra system qualifies as an advanced conversion technology (ACT) under British legislation, meaning that the power generated by the project will receive the highest band of renewables obligation certificates (ROCs).

The gasification system will act as a cornerstone of the $83-million project that will use 67,000 tonnes/year of locally-sourced recovered wood diverted from landfills to produce steam that will be converted into electricity through a steam turbine and generator system.

The plant will supply enough electricity to power 17,000 homes and is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 107,000 tonnes per year.

Developed by Carbonarius, the plant will be capable of producing over 10 MW of renewable electricity for sale to the grid.

The project will create more than 100 engineering, project management and construction jobs and 19 full-time jobs on site once operational.

MWH Global, an environmental, engineering and construction company, will be responsible for construction and installation of the system as well as the balance of the plant, including the steam turbine and associated equipment used to produce the power.

“We are very pleased to be selected by MWH, Carbonarius and the investor consortium for our first project in the U.K.,” Nexterra president and CEo Mike Scott said in a statement.

“We believe that this is an attractive market for our gasification solutions and look forward to establishing our energy-from-renewable-waste systems across the U.K.”

The project is funded by an investment consortium which includes UK Green Investment Bank (“GIB”), Balfour Beatty plc, Eternity Capital Management Ltd., Foresight Group’s UK Waste Resources and Energy Investments (UKWREI) fund and GCP Infrastructure Fund with the developer, Carbonarius.

“To execute this project we needed a gasification technology that was proven, reliable and bankable,” MWH’s Ian Miller said.

“After looking at different technologies we determined that Nexterra’s technology and track record was the best fit for the project.”

This is Nexterra’s first project in Britain after successfully delivering seven commercial plants in Canada and the United States.

Export Development Canada (EDC), Canada’s export credit agency, is supporting the project.

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