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Member Article

px to operate fat fuelled power plant

Energy industry specialist, the px group, has won the contract to operate the world’s largest fat-fuelled power station, currently under construction in Beckton, East London.

When complete, the combined heat and intelligent power (CHiP) plant will produce 130 Gigawatt hours (GWh) a year of renewable electricity - enough to run 40,000 average-sized homes.

Every year around 40,000 blockages are caused by fat which is poured down London’s drains. This, together with fat and oil from restaurants, will be used as fuel for the plant, which is being developed 2OC and financed by a consortium led by iCON infrastructure.

The px group currently operates a series of energy and process facilities around the UK among which are the Teesside Gas Processing Plant, power stations at Fellside in Cumbria and at Stallingbrough, near Immingham, the Inver Energy fuel storage depot at Cardiff and a similar facility for Phillips 66 near Stockport.

Tim Underdown, Chief Executive Officer of the px group, , said: “This provides us with a great opportunity to extend our experience of energy generation into the renewables sector and we look forward to working with our partners in this exciting venture.

“We have vast experience in the industry and since our formation twelve years ago, have diversified our business to include process industry operations and maintenance as well as engineering design and project and construction management.”

The £70m contract to build the Beckton plant, which will be operational in the first quarter of 2015, is underway with J Murphy and Sons.

The Beckton CHiP plant will have an overall efficiency of over 90% and world-leading electrical efficiency of more than 55%. Renewable waste heat from the plant will be used in the adjacent gas pressure reduction station owned by National Grid, enabling it to turn off existing gas heaters. Additional renewable heat from the power station will be put to use at the sewage works and also made available to local housing projects.

Thames Water has agreed to buy 75 GWh of output to run Beckton sewage works and the nearby desalination plant, with the remaining power being sold on to the national energy supply grid. The water firm has also committed to provide at least 30 tonnes of fat, oil and grease (FOG) per day - half of the fuel required by the generator.

Andrew Mercer, Chief Executive of 2OC, said: “Renewable power and heat from waste oils and fats is fully sustainable. When Thames Water doesn’t need the output, it will be made available to the grid.”

Piers Clark, commercial director for Thames Water, said: “Sourcing renewable power, hedged from the price fluctuations of the non-renewable mainstream power markets, while helping tackle the ongoing operational problem of ‘fatbergs’ in sewers is a win win scenario.”

In addition to its UK operations, px also has offices in the United Arab Emirates and has provided consultancy services around the world.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Paul Dobbie .

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