Fuelled each year by 400,000 tonnes of UK sustainable waste and virgin wood, RWE’s Markinch Biomass Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Plant in Fife, Scotland, inaugurated in March 2015, includes a critical fuel reception and handling solution developed by Saxlund International, part of the Swedish Saxlund International Holding energy and environmental technology group.
Currently the largest biomass plant in the UK, the state-of-the-art biomass power facility has an installed capacity of 65 MW excess electricity is fed into the local network supplying some 56,000 homes.
Saxlund has been involved from the earliest stages of the multi-million pound project in the design and development of the robust materials handling system, including full installation, project management and commissioning. Determining a sufficient onsite fuel storage buffer to ensure uninterrupted operation between deliveries and a first in, first out, design philosophy to minimise fuel degradation and compaction are part of the concept.
Key components supplied by Saxlund include four fuel container lorry reception units, chain conveyors, screening to remove out of spec or oversize material and three concrete storage silos. Measuring 26 m high by 20 m wide each is equipped with a Saxlund rotary TubeFeeder to provide continuous, high-volume discharge of fuel to the combustion process. Each TubeFeeder consumes just 60kW of power in use, 25% of the power of competing technologies, and ideal for renewable power generation.
Matt Drew, Managing Director, Saxlund International explains: “Wood chip biomass is non-free flowing and difficult to handle. The design concept required sufficient on-site storage to ensure uninterrupted power generation, flexibility to deal with changing fuels specifications, and an optimal mass flow of material into the combustion process, with minimal dust generation.”