Shepherd hands over new biomass facilities at Drax

Shepherd Construction, a nationally operating contractor, has achieved handover at the UK's largest power station, Drax, following completion of new biomass facilities.

Now independently operating and burning up to 14,000 tonnes of biomass daily, new facilities designed, built and engineered by Shepherd are enabling Drax to generate up to 1,260MW of renewable electricity per day.

The project was officially opened this month by the Energy and Climate Change secretary, Edward Davey.

Drax has already converted two of its six generating units to burn biomass, and a third will be converted during 2015 and 2016. With all three units converted, annual carbon savings will amount to some 12 million tonnes and the production of enough renewable power to meet the equivalent needs of around three million homes.

With 3.8 million man hours worked on site and a peak labour force of over 950 people, Shepherd has delivered a range of biomass storage and handling facilities as well as the infrastructure works required to transport high volumes of biomass material across site.

All four domes, the boiler distribution system, the direct fuel route and boilers two and three have now been officially handed over to Drax.

Following Government announcements last year that it would be implementing challenging sustainability criteria for biomass, the ground-breaking facilities at Drax will go a long way to helping tackle climate change now and in years to come.

Jason Shipstone, engineering manager at Drax, says: 'Collaboratively, we've produced a feat of construction and engineering, the like of which this country has never seen, and one that will provide a long term legacy for the UK's renewables industry.'

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