Artist’s rendition of the Brigg biomass power plant.
Straw feedstock is used as fuel for the Brigg biomass power plant.
Alstom’s 45MW Geared Reaction steam turbine (GRT) is used at the Brigg renewable power plant.

The Brigg Biomass Power Plant is a 40MW straw-fired power station developed near Brigg, North Lincolnshire, UK. The waste-to-energy biomass power project was developed by BWSC, a joint venture between Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor and PensionDanmark.

BWSC purchased the biomass power project from UK-based renewable energy company Eco2 as part of a £160m ($248.48m) deal in August 2013.

Construction of the plant was completed in January 2016. The electricity generated by the straw-fuelled power plant, which would be enough for more than 70,000 UK households a year, is fed into the national grid offsetting up to 300,000t of carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions annually. The plant employs 30 personnel.

Financing for the straw-fired power plant at Brigg

“PensionDanmark invested £128m ($213.32m) in the straw-fired bio-mass power project through Copenhagen Infrastructure I fund, which was established in 2012.”

PensionDanmark invested £128m ($213.32m) in the straw-fired bio-mass power project through the Copenhagen Infrastructure I fund, which was established in 2012.

Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor, which will build, operate and maintain the plant for a period of 15 years, provided the remaining £32m ($53.33m).

Plant details

The Brigg biopower plant was built on a 13-acre site, which was formerly a British Sugar plant. Eco2 had received planning permission for the power plant in October 2011.

The straw-fuelled plant uses more than 240,000t of wheat straw feedstock annually, which will be sourced from producers within a 50-mile radius. It will also use wood chips as auxiliary fuel.

The facility comprises a turbine and boiler hall, two storage barns and a building to store wood. The plant uses combustion technology based on a water-cooled vibration grate to generate power from the straw feedstock. The chimney stack of the power plant is 62m high.

The straw fuel for the plant is delivered on flatbed trailers and unloaded into one of the two straw barns. Each straw barn is capable of holding straw bales sufficient for 36 hours of operation.

“Each straw barn is capable of holding straw bales sufficient for 36 hours of operation.”

The straw is burnt in the boiler to produce high-pressure, high-temperature steam, which drives the steam turbine to generate electricity. The steam passing through the turbine is condensed back into water with the help of an air-cooled condenser and reused in the boiler.

The hot combustion gases generated in the process pass through a complete cleaning system before being released through the chimney stack, while the ash produced due to the combustion of the straw will be recycled for fertiliser.

The power plant is designed for continuous operation for baseload power generation except for one annual shutdown for inspection and repair.

Key players involved with Brigg biopower plant

Alstom designed and supplied a 45MW geared reaction steam turbine (GRT) for the Brigg power station under a contract signed with Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor in February 2014.

Danish boiler supplier Burmeister & Wain Energy (BWE) and BWSC’s consortium partner Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor were awarded the contract to supply the grate-fired biomass boiler in October 2013.

Statkraft signed a 12-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Eco2 for the Brigg bio power plant in November 2013.

NRI Energy Technology