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Palm given go-ahead for CHP plant

Palm Paper has been given permission to install a natural gas-fired combined heat and power plant, with a thermal capacity of 162MW, for its King’s Lynn mill.

Due to the scale of the proposed plant on the Saddlebow site, the application was decided by the energy secretary instead of the local planning authority, West Norfolk Borough Council.

At present, electricity for the mill is provided by the local network and by two boilers generating the steam required at the mill.

In the new plant, a compressor draws in clean, filtered and compressed air which is mixed with natural gas in a combustion chamber to produce hot high-pressure flue gas.

The gases are fed through a turbine which drives an electrical generator. The hot exhaust gases pass through a heat recovery steam generator where the heat is extracted to turn water into steam.

The steam is cycled from the HRSG and passed through the steam turbine which, in turn, drives a generator to produce further electrical energy. After expansion, the exhausted, low-energy steam leaves the turbine to be used for the paper production process.

The company’s website says: “The new plant is expected to achieve a nominal thermal efficiency of around 85%, which is considerably higher than conventional coal or gas-fired power stations.

“The operation of the proposed CCGT plant will displace the two existing, and considerably less efficient, package boilers, and it will reduce overall CO2 emissions per unit electricity or steam generated (carbon intensity), which would be beneficial to the UK meeting its greenhouse gas emission reduction commitments.”

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