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Northumberland biomass plant reaches milestone

Murphy biomass project 3x2

Contractor J Murphy & Sons has completed the first phase of work on the UK’s first reheat biomass combined heat and power (CHP) plant.

Murphy has installed over 6,600m of cable ducts, across a range of terrain, in preparation of installing the 66kV circuit in early 2017, at the £138M Cramlington plant in Northumberland.

The contractor will begin constructing the plant substation and compound, breaking ground on site this month.

The contract was awarded by Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractors A/S (BWSC) in October 2015 and Murphy was tasked with the cabling and civils design stage, civil duct route construction, substation and compound construction and fit-out, as well as commissioning and installing the 66kV equipment and cable systems.

“This is a great milestone to have reached. We have installed thousands of metres of ducting underneath major arterial roads and industrial landscapes across Northumberland while at the same time minimising the impact on the local community,” said Vincent Bowler, operations director for Murphy’s power sector.

“We will now focus on the next stage of the project, to construct the substation and infrastructure needed so that residents can soon benefit from sustainable and efficient power.”

The combined heat and power biomass plant uses reheat technology, which is relatively new to power plants of this size. Steam will be led through two heating processes and two turbines, instead of one, for increased energy use.

The Cramlington plant will have an output of 27.8MW, generating 223GWh of renewable electricity. Power will be generated sustainably from virgin wood, forest residues and clean, recycled waste wood. It is expected that carbon dioxide emissions will be reduced by 56,000t annually, compared to a gas-fired power plant.

As well as supplying low carbon electricity to National Grid, the plant will also directly supply electricity and heat to two pharmaceutical companies on a direct wire and pipeline basis.

Work is due to be completed in summer 2017.

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