BEI Teeside Power Plant, United Kingdom

BEI-Teesside is a biomass power plant which was to be built by Bio Energy Investments (BEI) in Stockton-On-Tees, Teesside, in north-east England. With a capacity of 49MW, the power station will use reprocessed pine kernel shells as fuel to power more than 50,000 homes. The biofuel will enable the plant to cut CO2 emissions by 140,000t, which is 93% in comparison to a conventional coal-fired power plant.

Heatherwick Studios designed the plant. The planning application was approved by Stockton Council’s planning committee on 17 March 2010. It was hoped that the plant would create 200 jobs during the construction phase and 40 jobs during the initial stage of operations.

In June 2011, it was reported that the £150m project had collapsed due to lack of funds. BEI threatened to cancel the project if it does not get monetary support from the government. The company is now in the process of being wound up and the plans to build the project have been put on the back burner indefinitely.

Development

The project was planned to be developed on a brownfield site close to the bank of the River Tees. The site is located in Port Clarence in the borough of Stockton-On-Tees.

The 6ha site has not been used for 50 years. The elements of the plant were planned to be stacked vertically to make efficient use of the land. The plant would have occupied about 2ha while the remainder would have been landscaped.

A hard standing was to form the base of the plant. The equipment required to operate the plant were to be fitted at the base. A 12m tall earth mounding was to enclose the base during the construction and operational phases of the plant.

Construction

BEI had estimated that the construction of the plant would take two years to complete. With planning permission approved, the company had planned to begin construction in 2010. Operations were originally scheduled to start in 2012.

Plant details

The plant would have made use of combustion steam cycle technology to produce electricity from clean biomass. BEI had planned to source pine kernel shells, remnants of pine oil production, from Malaysia to use as fuel. The plant’s location close to the River Tees would have helped in the shipment of biomass.

The shells were to be shipped to the UK in container vessels and were to be pelletised before they are delivered as pellets burn more efficiently. The pellets were planned to be delivered in weekly shipments of 5,000t loads to the Lower Clarence Wharf. The plant was to be provided with a capacity to store fuel for more than two weeks.

The shells will be shipped to the UK in container vessels and will be pelletised before they are delivered as pellets burn more efficiently. The pellets will be delivered in weekly shipments of 5,000t loads to the Lower Clarence Wharf. The plant will have the capacity to store fuel for more than two weeks.

A tube conveyor was to be installed to transport the pellets from the wharf to storage containers in the power station. The conveyor was to pass underground along the KoppersUK access road. From the outer slopes it would have run above ground towards the storage area where the fuel was to be discharged.

Distribution

The plant was to be connected to the national grid and was to transmit power to a 33/66kV substation situated at North Tees via a 33kV underground cable.

Environmental impact

BEI had taken care to reduce the plant’s impact on the local environment. The bottom and fly ash generated from the plant was to be supplied to chemical and construction industries in the region.

Almost two-thirds of the site, which is currently barren, was to be landscaped to create a habitat for flora and fauna.