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Fire-hit UK biomass plant produces electricity again

A German-owned biomass power plant in Tilbury, UK is starting to thrive again following a fire which occurred on-site in February.

Electricity and gas producer RWE Group claims the plant is again providing electricity to the national grid as one of its three units has returned to normal service. It is hopeful the other two units will be back online in July.

RWE claims there was no single cause for the fire but that the movement of wood pellets may have been one factor.

‘Although it has not been possible to definitively identify the mechanism for the escalation, this is considered to be the most likely cause,’ RWE issued through a statement. ‘When wood pellets in neighbouring hoppers were moved, significant air drafts were created and, despite fire suppressant foam having been used to cap the affected areas, it is likely that the increased levels of oxygen caused the ignition of the smouldering dust.’

The Tilbury plant has been running on 100% biomass since 2010 and will continue to do so until its closure under the UK Large Combustion Plant Directive in 2015.