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Dumfries gasification re-starts after breaching emission limits

An energy from waste plant at Dumfries has re-started operations after being forced to stop when it breached emissions limits.

Scotgen’s facility at Dargavel Stores was forced to cease processing waste after routine sampling by regulator the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) found that it had breached dioxin emission limits in May.

Scotgen suspended operations for five days until the result of tests were known, with gasification restarting on 27 June following agreement with SEPA and satisfactory test results. Further testing has been undertaken according to Scotgen.

The company said that no definitive single cause of the failure had been identified. However, it said it is thought that the breach may have been linked to an intermittent fault with a data control card in the abatement dosing system.

In a statement the company said: “Scotgen are most disappointed to have to report a breach of the dioxin emission limit trigger value on one of their monthly samples.

“The breach was identified after results from the periodic sampling of one of the two operating streams during the month of May 2012.”

It said: “Scotgen regrets that the conditions prevalent were unable to prevent such a failure and further regrets the concern that may be caused in our wider community of neighbours.”

It added: “Scotgen is continuing to work closely with its regulator and aims to cooperate fully at all times.”

The facility uses a sequentially operated batch gasification process and operates via a permit requiring monthly sampling for dioxins and furans in the emitted flue gases.

The facility has had persistent problems with its boiler system since it became operational in 2009, resulting in previous periods of suspended operation in parts of the plant. It is currently in the process of re-commissioning with a new boiler system.

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