While a number of major projects are underway globally, waste gasification has a chequered past. Many argue that when traditional thermal treatment with heat recovery is able to achieve such high efficiencies, gasification is complex and unnecessary. Others point to low emissions and the potential to produce products such as hydrogen.
Air Products is due to begin processing 350,000 tonnes of RDF at its Tees Valley gasification facility in the coming months, now that the plant has entered the final stages of commissioning. The plant is being built near Billingham.
TV1 (Tees Valley 1) will be treating pre-processed municipal, commercial and industrial waste supplied by Impetus Waste Management, diverting it from the waste firm’s landfill site which is nearby.
The plant gained planning permission from Stockton-On-Tees borough council in 2011. I has an estimated of £320 million and has been funded almost entirely by US-based Air Products – with a £260,000 grant also awarded by One North East in 2010.
Air Products supply a unique portfolio of atmospheric gases, process and specialty gases, performance materials, equipment and services.
The plant had originally been due to enter commercial operations by mid-2014. It will provide 50 full time jobs when it comes fully online later this year.
Air Products say that their Tees Valley project is one of the most exciting and innovative energy projects in the world. These facilities will use advanced gasification energy-from-waste technology, with the potential to revolutionize the waste-to-energy sector.
The second facility will have the capacity to treat an additional 350,000 tonnes of pre-processed waste, which will also be supplied by Impetus. The plant is contracted to provide power on behalf of the government’s Energy for Growth programme over a 20-year fixed period.
A spokesperson for Air Products said:
“Air Products has successfully completed commissioning with Tees Valley 1 (TV1) and it is well into its start-up phase. It is expected to enter commercial operation later this year. Air Products has a waste agreement with Impetus Waste Management to supply non-recyclable municipal, commercial and industrial feedstock waste.”
Tony Baker, Compliance & Safety Manager at GPT Waste added:
“The Air Products venture provides a significant UK based processing option for RDF which would otherwise be destined for overseas. As more UK RDF processing options become available it will be interesting to see how the market will react as the scramble to secure future RDF volume both in the UK and the traditional European recovery outlets develops”