Simec says plastic waste pellets looking good for Uskmouth power station


Simec Atlantis says the plastic and paper waste pellets it plans to burn at the former Uskmouth coal-fired power station in South Wales have passed volume production and milling tests.

The Gupta-controlled firm aims to convert the power station to a 220MW energy from waste facility, with grid output scheduled for next year.

Supplier N+P Group has now produced 100 tonnes of the so-called ‘subcoal’ pellets, which Simec said indicates that it can handle the scale required to fuel the plant commercially. The firm added that large scale milling tests have also completed successfully.

The next step comes this spring, when partner Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Europe is due to burn the pellets in high volumes at the site. The Japanese furnace designers committed to the Uskmouth project in October.

If its 220 MW pellet-burning capability proves viable next year, investors including majority shareholders the Gupta family have committed to build a 70 MW additional furnace – as well as produce pellets – on the site.

Simec hopes its pathfinder plant can form a blueprint for conversion of other coal-fired power stations around the world.

Simec Atlantic CEO Tim Cornelius has claimed the pellets, which the firm says contain material that would otherwise go to landfill, “burn as clean as natural gas”.

Uskmouth’s forthcoming tests have “material implications for the way plastic waste and ageing coal-fired power stations, are managed globally in the future”, Cornelius added.

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