Air Products (NYSE: APD) has announced that it will build and operate the world’s largest renewable energy plant in the UK using advanced gasification energy-from-waste (EfW) technology.
The Tees Valley plant, located at the New Energy and Technology Business Park, near Billingham, Teesside, will be the first of its kind in the UK, and the largest of its kind anywhere in the world with an approximate capacity of 50MW.
The plant is expected to produce enough reliable, controllable, and renewable electricity to power up to 50,000 homes. Situated in a location with good access and connectivity to the local and national electrical distribution infrastructure and in close proximity to landfill disposal facilities, it will divert up to 350,000 metric tons of non-recyclable waste from landfill per year – helping to meet the UK’s waste diversion targets.
The plant is expected to create up to 700 construction jobs and over 50 permanent jobs once operational, helping to revitalize the local economy and grow a green skills base in advanced clean technology in the North East of England.
The Westinghouse advanced gasification technology, provided by AlterNRG, is leading the next generation of EfW technologies. It offers a more efficient, cleaner conversion of waste-to-power than traditional EfW technologies and has the potential to generate a wider range of useful products, including heat, hydrogen, chemicals and fuels. Longer term, the potential generation of renewable hydrogen could be deployed for commercial use, such as fuelling public transport.
Air Products has secured the necessary environmental and planning approvals and the renewable energy facility is scheduled to enter commercial operation in 2014. Work has already begun to prepare the site. Full-scale construction activities will begin ramping up in the coming weeks.