Work starts on ETI backed innovative Waste Gasification Commercial Demonstration Plant in the West Midlands

Work has started to build an innovative waste gasification plant in the West Midlands known as the SynTech Energy Centre, creating around 100 construction jobs and 25 new permanent jobs once operational.

The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) is investing £5m into the new centre built on the site of a former steel fabrication and waste recycling facility in Portway Road, Wednesbury matching a £5m investment from Denver-based SynTech Bioenergy LLC. 

  • ETI will invest £5m in the project with a matching investment from Denver-based SynTech Bioenergy LLC
  • The Plant will deliver a Waste Gasification system capable of high efficiencies and a potential future to deliver chemicals or fuels such as green aviation fuel.
  • Up to around 100 construction jobs and 25 permanent operations jobs will be created

eti logoThe Project is being led by SynTech Bioenergy UK based in Aldridge in the West Midlands, Mace are the project managers and engineering, procurement and construction is being led by Otto Simon Ltd from Cheadle in Cheshire. 

The gasification technology is being provided by US company Frontline Bioenergy, in whom SynTech US is a major stakeholder and will be built in the UK.

The 1.5MWe facility, which will produce enough electrical power to supply 2,500 homes, will use advanced gasification to produce power at high efficiency and high reliability from sorted and processed municipal waste.

The project will convert about 40 tonnes a day of post recycling, refuse derived fuel (RDF) produced locally into a clean syngas.  The syngas will then be converted into power using a modified high- efficiency gas engine, and waste heat generated from the engine will be made available to heat a local swimming pool.

The plant is more compact than many other energy from waste designs and could be suitable for providing heat and power to factories, hospitals as well as being suitable to integrate with heat networks in towns and cities.

It will also incorporate a unique test facility which will allow the testing of new engines, turbines and upgrading processes which produce products from waste derived clean syngas including a proprietary methanol production process which boosts product yield significantly over rival technologies.

ETI Bioenergy Project Manager Paul Winstanley said:

“This project is about more than just generating clean electricity, although that is an important first step.

“The SynTech Energy Centre will produce a clean, consistent high quality syngas from waste in the form of refuse derived fuel (RDF). Producing a clean high quality syngas opens up a huge variety of new opportunities in addition to making clean electricity including the generation of hydrogen, jet fuel and even plastics from wastes.

“The UK paid to export 3 million tonnes of RDF to Europe in 2016. This export market is still rising and nearly 16 million tonnes of waste is landfilled of which half could be used as fuel. This technology could be used to convert waste into clean, reliable and economic heat, power, chemicals and fuels on a smaller scale where it could be used by factories, car plants, hospitals and data centres economically.”

Kamal Kalsi, SynTech Bioenergy UK’s Chief Technology Officer said:

“The work in Phase 1 of the project  has permitted us to carry out a significant level of risk assessment and mitigation work to ensure that we can deliver not only a technology that works reliably on a wide range of waste sources but does so in a cost-effective manner. Our process differs in many key aspects to all others in the marketplace and we believe that this provides us with key advantages that allow us to meet our technical and commercial objectives.

“We look forward to being a key part of bringing advanced thermal conversion into a new era of high efficiency, end-product flexibility and most importantly demonstrating the technology to make it more attractive to future investors”