Green light for MK waste conversion facility

Energos is preparing to build its ninth advanced conversion facility at AmeyCespa's Milton Keynes Waste Recovery Park, which received planning approval this month.

The Waste Recovery Park, which is due to start on site in 2014 and begin processing waste  in 2016, was approved unanimously by Milton Keynes Council's Development Control Committee following six months of borough-wide community consultation and liaison.

As an integral part of the Waste Recovery Park, which includes recycling and anaerobic digestion, the 90ktpa conversion facility will generate 7MW of electricity. It will process non recyclable, non hazardous household waste - as the final stage of a three-step waste treatment process.

Energos has developed a total of seven waste fuelled advanced thermal conversion facilities across Europe, including the UK's only operational facility.

The UK-based company is currently building its second UK plant at the Glasgow Recycling and Renewable Energy Centre, and has recently received planning permission for a third facility in Lisburn, Northern Ireland.

The Energos technology uses a gasification process that converts residual, non-recyclable waste into a syngas by using the heat of partial combustion to free hydrogen and carbon in the waste. The syngas produces high temperature steam that can then be converted into electricity in a turbine.

The Waste Recovery Parkis expected to reduce Milton Keynes Council's current waste management bill by more than £50 million and help reduce the amount of household waste going to landfill.

In combination with Milton Keynes Council's existing recycling initiatives, the new facility is intended to ensure that only around 2% of the borough's waste will be landfilled.

Emerson control system for advanced waste-to-energy gasification facility

CHO-Power, part of the Europlasma Group, is using Emerson Process Management’s digital automation technology to control a new waste and biomass fed power station at Morcenx in southwestern France. By providing flexible and accurate control of an innovative gasification process, Emerson’s Ovation expert control system is enabling the plant to operate at maximum efficiency.

The new Morcenx gasification facility will generate 12 MW of power from 150 metric tonnes per day of industrial and wood waste, making it the most powerful plant of its type worldwide. The efficient use of waste and biomass fuel helps the plant support European energy guidelines promoting the use of continuous-source renewable energy with low CO2 emissions. Start-up was in autumn 2012, and the plant was commissioned to the grid at the beginning of 2013.

The Morcenx power station is the first of its type to use an innovative and highly efficient gasification principle based on patented 'Turboplasma' equipment to transform waste into syngas. The 1200°C temperatures generated from the plasma torch produce a very pure syngas that is used to drive the turbine and generate electricity.  In addition, 18 MWth of hot water from the cooling system is used to heat a vegetable greenhouse and a wood drier.

“We selected Emerson’s Ovation system because it provides the levels of flexibility and control needed to cope with the varying characteristics of biomass fuels,” said Yannick Ferriere, project manager, CHO Power. “Also critical was Emerson’s extensive project management experience with biomass power generating plants, as well as its technical support including engineering, configuration of the Ovation system, training, start-up assistance and maintenance.”

The Ovation system, together with AMS Suite predictive maintenance software and smart instrumentation, is part of Emerson’s PlantWeb digital plant architecture that provides both advanced control and asset management capability for the Morcenx facility.

The Ovation system will perform data acquisition and monitor and control all major plant components to provide improved unit stability, responsiveness and thermal efficiencies; tighter overall control of plant operations; and a more concise view of key plant and turbine parameters. The system provides embedded advanced algorithms and proven control routines that continually adjust the combustion process to compensate for the varying characteristics of biomass fuels. This maximizes both boiler and plant efficiency. The Ovation system interfaces with the GE steam turbine, gas treatment system and gas engine using Profibus-DP communications. 

An Ovation SIS (safety instrumented system) provides SIL-3 protection for the boiler systems. Complying with the stringent international standard IEC 61511, Ovation SIS employs digital intelligence and diagnostics to provide an integrated complete-safety-loop approach that helps increase process availability, reduce lifecycle costs and ease regulatory compliance.

Emerson also provided a broad range of instrumentation for the power station, including Rosemount® temperature, pressure and flow transmitters; Fisher® control valves; and Rosemount Smart Wireless temperature transmitters. AMS Suite software will enable maintenance and operations personnel to predict equipment issues to better maintain and protect the machinery.

“We are delighted that Europlasma has chosen our automation technologies for this innovative power facility,” said Bob Yeager, president of the Power & Water Solutions business unit of Emerson Process Management. “Our technologies, services and support have made a significant contribution to this project, which will develop into a key part of Europe’s renewable generating capacity.”

A detailed market study by CHO Power shows that 650 new advanced gasification power plants will have to be built in Europe by 2030 to meet EU renewable energy targets. Of these 107 would be required in the UK and a further 126 in France.