Martin Engineering has completed the first phase of a programme to drastically reduce dust and spillage from Hibbing Public Utilities’ biomass fuel handling system in Minnesota, US.

Under the contract, the company upgraded belt cleaners, transfer points and modified chutes, settling zones and apron skirts while upgrading vibration technology to improve material flow at key points and help prevent fugitive material from reaching nearby homes and businesses.

The 35MW system features three air-supported conveyors and one bucket-type conveyor, and can produce up to 135,000 pounds of steam an hour.

HPU currently owns and operates a cogenerating plant and has also formed a joint company called Laurentian Energy in partnership with Virginia Public Utilities.

The firm produces 300,000 MW hours of electricity a year, 70% of it from biomass, under a 20-year contract with Xcel Energy.


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