Eon considers UK biomass options
August 7, 2012
By Argus Media
August 7, 2012, London, UK — German utility Eon is considering consuming biomass at its 2,000MW coal-fired Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station but has no plans to continue operations at the 1,000MW Ironbridge coal-fired plant beyond 2015.
The Ratcliffe plant, which consists of four 500MW units, has co-fired small volumes of biomass in the past, but the utility told Argus that it is considering all options including increased co-firing and converting the plant to biomass.
In terms of Ironbridge, Eon is in the process of converting one unit at the plant.
Commissioning will start at the first unit before the end of this year and will see output drop from 485MW to a maximum 450MW after the work is completed. Eon said the conversion is progressing well and will increase the company's feedstock optionality, but it insists that it has no plans to operate the facility beyond 2015.
“We are initially focusing on the first unit and work is progressing well,” a spokesman told Argus. “From the outset we have said by having a flexible fuel source this will allow us to run the plant up to the end of 2015 but there are no plans to go beyond that date.”
UK power plants that have opted out of the EU's large combustion plant directive (LCPD) but are investing in biomass conversions have the opportunity to continue operating after they have used up their remaining hours, according to the UK's Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc). But the Ironbridge plant, which opted out of the LCPD, will close once its remaining hours are used up, Eon said.
The plant had a total of 66 weeks on full-time burn available at the end of May.
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