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Large coal plant could fire biomass by end of 2011

Mar. 29, 2011, London, UK – RWE expects to start work converting its large-scale coal-fired power plant at Tilbury, southeast England, to biomass in summer 2011.


March 29, 2011
By Argus Media

Mar. 29, 2011, London, UK – German utility
RWE expects to start work converting its large-scale coal-fired power plant at
Tilbury, southeast England, to biomass in summer 2011 after securing the
necessary planning approval. RWE's UK subsidiary RWE Npower plans to convert
the 1,060-MW coal-fired plant to 100% biomass, capable of generating up to
750-MW. The converted Tilbury plant is expected to be fully operational in the
fourth quarter of 2011.

The Environment Agency granted approval in
January 2011, and local council leaders gave consent in mid-March 2011 for new
equipment to be installed at the plant, including the extension of a conveyor
tower and dust separators.

The coal-fired plant is due to be
decommissioned by the end of 2015 under the terms of the European Union's large
combustion plant directive. RWE previously said it would close the facility in
2015, regardless of the fuel switch, but the firm now says the facility could
continue as a biomass plant.

“Work developing a range of options for the
future of the Tilbury site after 2015 is still in progress, and this includes
the development of a new combined-cycle gas turbine option on the site,
as well as maintaining a biomass option,” says an RWE Npower spokeswoman. “Our
final decision will very much depend upon the success of this conversion
project and the changes to energy policy expected from the government's current
proposals on electricity market reform. We will not take any final decision on
the future of the Tilbury site after 2015 until these things are made clear.”

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The Tilbury plant is likely to be fuelled
by RWE's new 750,000-tonne/year pellet facility located in Georgia, USA. The pellet
plant is expected to begin operations in early 2012 and will initially supply
fuel for the utility's Amer power plants in the Netherlands to help them
achieve a 50% co-firing target.

Please visit ArgusMedia.com for more information.

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