Delayed energy-from-waste (EfW) project Energy Works Hull (EWH) has secured global engineering company Black & Veatch as principal contractor to oversee its final stages of commissioning.
The company replaces MW High Tech Projects UK, whose contract was terminated last month by shareholders fed up with “significant delays” to the Cleveland Street project.
The facility was supposed to be up and running last April but delays, including multiple walk-outs by workers over health and safety issues, as well as a walk-out sparked by a water leak, pushed back the opening date.
EWH is a combined heat and power-enabled gasification plant that will generate 24MW of electricity – enough to power over 40,000 homes – with the capacity to divert up to 240,000 tonnes a year of household and industrial waste from landfill.
Shareholders include Noy and Bioenergy Infrastructure Group (BIG), whose facility Ince Bio Power at Ellesmere Port – which uses similar technology – is in operation. Black & Veatch was also the principle contractor overseeing the Ince project.
BIG chief executive Hamish McPherson said: “Black & Veatch has demonstrated both technical capability and organisational commitment to the renewable energy industry, including as a lead contractor at our Ince Bio Power project in Cheshire, and we are delighted to have brought it on-board in Hull.
“This represents very good news, not only for this facility, but for the city of Hull. We have regenerated a brownfield site, will be enabling other local businesses to reduce their carbon footprint and will be providing clean energy to the local grid.”
Ince Bio Power is the largest advanced conversion technology (ACT) facility in the UK but will be overtaken by EWH once the Hull plant is fully operational. EWH will have the capacity to reduce carbon emissions by about 30,000 tonnes.
ACT – a form of gasification – is described as a “clean alternative to incineration” that turns waste into a combustible gas by heating it in a low-oxygen environment. BIG has another ACT facility, the smaller Levenseat plant in Lanarkshire, Scotland.
At its peak, construction at the EWH plant employed 500 people and, once operational, is expected to employ 25, with more jobs created through the supply chain.