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Birmingham Bio-Power awards contract for UK biomass plant

Birmingham Bio-Power is developing a new 10.3MW biomass-fired power plant in Birmingham, UK and has announced that, under a new EPC contract, MWH Treatment will design, build and maintain the facility.

Preparation work on the £47.8 million (€57 million) biomass gasification plant is to start immediately with completion scheduled for early 2016. When the plant is up and running it will handle around 67,000 tonnes of wood waste secured under a long-term sustainable contract with a local supplier. It will generate enough electricity to benefit more than 17,000 homes annually.

Power will be generated through the gasification of the waste wood, which is then combusted to create steam which drives a turbine unit and generates electricity for export to the national grid. Canadian Nexterra Systems is to supply its gasification technology to the project.

Under the contract, MWH will complete construction and commissioning before taking on an operational role running the plant under a five year operations and maintenance contract.

The investment consortium financing the power plant includes the Green Investment Bank, Gravis Capital Partners, Balfour Beatty, Eternity Capital Management and Foresight Group's UK Waste Resources and Energy Investments fund.

UK Green Investment Bank CEO Shaun Kingsbury comments: 'As the UK works towards its targets to generate more power from green sources, it's important that we bring on new technologies. I'm please the Green Investment Bank has been able to support the UK's first bioenergy plant and hope it offers a positive demonstration effect that others will follow.'

Over its 20 year lifespan, the facility is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 2.1 million tonnes and save 1.3 million tonnes of waste wood, otherwise destined for landfill.