Gazprom Energy on 5 Feb announced a new commercial partnership with Tata Chemicals Europe to support production at the business’ combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Cheshire.
According to a company press statement: The deal will see the business energy firm supply natural gas to the chemical company’s existing CHP facility in Northwich in addition to buying back excess electricity generated by the plant.
The CHP plant produces steam and electricity which is used in Tata’s manufacturing processes at two sites in Northwich – Lostock and Winnington – from which it produces soda ash and sodium bicarbonate for a range of industries including pharmaceutical food, glass and detergent manufacturers.
Tata Chemicals Europe acquired the plant, one of the largest of its kind in the UK, from E.ON in September 2013.
The new relationship will also provide the opportunity for Gazprom Energy’s clean energy team to support Tata Chemicals Europe’s carbon management strategy with respect to the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS).
Andrew Morris, manager of clean energy at Gazprom Energy, said: “With energy costs continuing to be a primary concern for UK industrial businesses, more and more are opting to become generators themselves. Combined Heat and Power (CHP) facilities remain the most popular means of embedded generation, allowing businesses to avoid the need to import additional electricity to power industrial processes.
Tata has taken a market-leading approach to this in the UK and by structuring a supply and power-purchase agreement we’re looking forward to supporting their energy efficiency strategy.” Mark Jackaman, commercial manager energy at Tata Chemicals Europe, said: “Energy costs represent one of the most significant challenges for our business and Gazprom Energy has demonstrated a like-minded approach and a willingness to develop a solution which is tailored to our requirements.”
The CHP plant currently consumes up to 120 million therms of gas and has the capability to export up to 99MW of power both of which will be traded exclusively through Gazprom Energy during the one-year contract term.
Gazprom Energy's embedded generation team works with independent energy producers, helping them to trade the power they produce from a wide range of sources including hydro and biomass, LFG, wind, anaerobic digestion, solar and energy from waste.
In 2013, the Manchester-headquartered firm became the fourth largest supplier of natural gas to UK businesses by volume – supplying 10 per cent of all consumption. The company, which entered the UK market in 2006, supplies both electricity and gas to more than 11,000 UK businesses and procures its energy on the open market in competition with other business suppliers including the ‘Big 6’.