Canadian Biomass Magazine

Germany’s RWE submits Tilbury plant permit applications

September 28, 2012
By Argus Media

September 28, 2012, London, UK — German utility RWE has submitted local planning and environmental permit applications to allow its 750MW Tilbury biomass plant in the UK to continue operating after expiry of its remaining hours under the EU's large combustion plant directive (LCPD), the company announced yesterday.

The plant — which opted out of the LCPD in 2007 — will undergo a 15-month retrofit after using its remaining hours and will re-licence as a biomass plant for operation post 2015. The permitting process is expected to take nine months.

“We are now looking towards the longer term future of Tilbury and our proposals could ensure the use of sustainable biomass at the site and the continued role of Tilbury at the heart of meeting the UK's energy needs and climate change targets well into the next decade,” Tilbury plant manager Nigel Staves said.

Tilbury is expected to continue generating until the middle of next year, when it will temporarily shut down to make the necessary upgrades. The plant will receive one renewable obligation certificate (Roc) subsidy for every MWh produced for its biomass conversion under the newly-announced Roc bands, which will apply from April 2013. Tilbury now receives 1.5Rocs/MWh.

The plant is back on line following a fire in February, which led to suspended operations for four months. Tilbury's unit 8 re-started generating in June, while units 9 and 10 followed in August. All three units have a capacity of 250MW.


The LCPD requires power stations to opt in to new environmental standards or opt out and close after operating for up to 20,000 hours, or before 2016. Power stations choosing to opt in had to choose between emissions limit values or a national emission reduction plan.

At full capacity, the Tilbury biomass plant is expected to consume 2.5mn t/yr of wood pellets.

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