The biomass conversion of a previously coal-fired power station in South Wales is on track to begin operations by 2021.
According to global sustainable energy company SIMEC Atlantic Energy, the Uskmouth plant in Newport will be fuelled with pellets derived from waste. The pellets will contain high levels of plastic waste, which cannot be recycled and may otherwise be sent to landfill. The converted station is expected to consume around 900,000 metric tons of waste pellets every year.
The innovative project is the world’s first conversion of a coal-fired power station to use waste-derived fuel and is one of the largest waste-to-value projects currently taking place in Europe. It is estimated to cost approximately £185 million (€206.4 million) and will extend the operational life of the plant by around 20 years.
David Taaffe, director of project delivery at SIMEC Atlantis Energy, said: “We are extremely pleased with the progress being made at the Uskmouth conversion project, which is on track to become operational in 2021.“Today we are announcing a significant milestone for the project. FEED tests and studies have been successfully completed, with the largest test burn of the waste-derived fuel pellets completed to date, and tenders have been issued for the next phase of the conversion.”
Once completed, the biomass conversion of Uskmouth is expected to generate 1,500 GWh of sustainable energy every year, enough to power almost 500,000 homes.
Taaffe, who has hailed the project as “the blueprint for other conversions around the world”, added: “We are already receiving high levels of interest from other asset-owners looking to replicate the Uskmouth conversion process.”