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Operations begin at UK’s first municipal waste gasification plant

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Operations at the UK’s first municipal waste gasification plant, which can produce clean electricity, heat, hydrogen and liquid fuels from waste, are well underway.

Aldridge-based Kew Technology and the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) claims the plant is cleaner, more efficient and more compact than other energy from waste designs and could work to provide heat and power to small towns, hospitals and factories. ETI invested £5 million (€5.53 million) into the project, matching a £5 million (€5.53 million) investment from Denver, US-based SynTech Bioenergy.

Wendy Morton, MP for Aldridge-Brownhills, recently met with energy experts at the new 1.5MWe waste gasification commercial demonstration plant, which will produce enough electrical power to supply 2,500 homes once fully operational.

The plant will soon have the capacity to convert approximately 40 metric tonnes per day of post-recycling, refuse-derived fuel produced into a clean syngas. This will then be converted into power using a high-efficiency gas engine, and waste heat generated in the process will also be utilised locally.

“My visit to Kew Technology was a great opportunity to learn more about how the company are promoting higher efficiencies of waste energy," said Wendy Morton MP. "Clearly the innovative processes being used by Kew Technology will have a major impact both local in Aldridge and nationally.

“As climate change continues to be a top priority for the government in seeking to hit our 2050 climate goals, it is good to know that companies from our local area are at the cutting edge of helping us meet our climate challenge.”

Paul Winstanley, project manager, added: “It’s a great project using technology that has so many opportunities for future community energy solutions that can be scaled to meet the drive for green fuels or chemicals.

“Over the next five years, it will be important for Kew Technology to find the most effective focus area to maximise the potential of waste gasification.”