Project Overview

Introduction to the Project

The proposed Energy Centre would produce low carbon electricity from waste materials, known as Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF). It would use approximately 600,000 tonnes of RDF per year, producing up to 49.9 MW output, enough to supply the electricity needs of around 50,000 homes. 

The Energy Centre would directly employ about 50 people during operation and create up to 600 jobs during construction. The Energy Centre would represent an investment of around £300 million in the local area and provide supply chain opportunities for local businesses.

The Energy Centre would make a positive contribution towards the UK Goverment’s climate change commitments, security of national electricity supply, and the recovery of energy from waste materials that may otherwise go to landfill or be exported overseas.

The Energy Centre

The Energy Centre would be located on available land within the boundary of South Humber Bank Power Station near Stallingborough, between Immingham and Grimsby, in North East Lincolnshire.

The Site for the Energy Centre is currently undeveloped with two man-made ponds and an internal access road. Cooling water pipelines and other utilities cross the Site below ground, and these have influenced the Energy Centre layout.

The Site is located within an industrial area with the Humber Estuary to the east. The nearest residential property is located on the other side of the South Humber Bank Power Station about 1 km to the west on South Marsh Road.

The Energy Centre would operate twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week with occasional periods of downtime for maintenance. RDF would be delivered by road, using heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), with a new access created on South Marsh Road.

The Energy Centre would comprise a number of buildings and structures (fuel reception hall, fuel storage bunker, boiler house, flue gas treatment facility, turbine hall, air-cooled condensers, and administration building) with an emissions stack (chimney), a substation, weighbridges, internal access roads and parking, and an HGV holding area.

The Need for the Project

The Project would support both the need for new power generation facilities and the need for new waste management facilities.

The UK needs to develop new electricity generation capacity to replace its ageing coal-fired and nuclear power stations, which are due to close over the next few years.  This needs to happen to safeguard the security of electricity supplies to the country’s homes and businesses.  The urgent need for the development of new power stations, including energy from waste power stations is set out in government policy – the Overarching National Policy Statement for Energy (‘EN-1’). This document can be found here.

The newly adopted North East Lincolnshire Local Plan (2018) identifies that there is a necessity to ensure that there are sufficient waste management facilities within the Borough to meet the requirements of the area. Within the Local Plan the justification for Policy 49 ‘restoration and aftercare (waste)’ identifies that waste disposal through means such as landfill is the least desirable waste management option available. An Energy Recovery Centre would act as a barrier to landfill and promotes the effective use of materials that have not been able to be utilised as part of earlier stages in the waste hierarchy.

What could the Energy Centre look like?

Below is an impression of the appearance of the Energy Centre at this stage in the design process. The existing South Humber Bank Power Station is indicated in grey behind.

What would the Energy Centre do?

The Energy Centre would combust RDF at temperatures above 850°C to recover energy. The heat created is used to produce steam, which can then be used to generate electricity by using a steam turbine. Some of the steam could potentially be used to provide heat to local users.

In the process, most of it turns into carbon dioxide and water. Any non-combustible material, such as glass, metal or stone, would be collected and recycled where possible.

Controlling Emissions

Small amounts of other gases, such as nitrous oxides, and particulates are created during the combustion process and the emissions are therefore carefully controlled. The flue gas is cleaned by a sophisticated flue gas treatment system before it is released in to the atmosphere.

As a result, the air emissions are controlled and continuously monitored to ensure they meet the stringent limits set by the Industrial Emissions Directive and the Environment Agency.

Construction

The impacts of the Project’s construction would be carefully managed through a Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) governing drainage, storage of materials, construction traffic, working hours including measures to ensure a clean and safe working environment.  The CEMP would be secured by a condition on any planning permission granted for the Project.