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Thetford Biomass Power Station
Mundford Road, Croxton, Thetford, Norfolk, UK
associated engineer
Taymel
date  August 1996 - October 1998
era  Modern  |  category  Power Generation  |  reference  TL850868
Thetford is largest power station in Britain running on poultry litter, consuming 420,000 tonnes of litter (a mixture of straw, wood chips and poultry droppings) annually. It has a capacity of 38.5MW and generates enough electricity for some 93,000 homes. A valuable by-product of the process is high quality fertiliser.
The litter is dried and then conveyed into the combustion chamber by screw augers at a rate of 55 tonnes per hour, where it is incinerated at 850 degrees Celsius on a moving chain grate with spreader stoker. This heats water in the boiler, producing steam at 450 degrees Celsius and 6,500kN per square metre pressure.
The steam drives a turbine connected to an electrical generator. The electricity goes to the UK's National Grid, while the steam is condensed into hot water and returned to the boiler. Exhaust gases from the combustion chamber are treated (cleaned and purified) before release.
The main parts of the power station are a 110m high chimney and a fuel 100m long and 40m wide, with a capacity of 10,000 tonnes of litter (one week’s supply). Some of the buildings are below ground to comply with height restrictions imposed in Thetford Forest — a popular area with visitors.
The power station is operated by EPR Thetford Ltd. The nitrate-free combustion ashes, containing phosphates and potash, are marketed as agricultural fertiliser by Fibrophos (formerly Fibrowatt Ltd). Taymel (Taylor Woodrow Management and Engineering) carried out the design and construct turnkey package, assimilating information from EPR’s earlier biomass plants at Eye and Glanford.
When the site was cleared in October 1996, a pottery kiln and evidence of Roman industry were discovered. The kiln has been retained as a feature of the new plant.
The project cost £69m to build and electricity was first generated in June 1999. At completion, it was the largest yet built under the Non-Fossil Fuel Obligation scheme.
Main contractor: Taymel
Turbine and generator supply: Ansaldo Energia SpA
Boiler supply: Foster Wheeler Ltd, Canada
Fuel handling system: Birtley Engineering plc
Grate system: Detroit Stoker Inc
Research: ECPK
bibliography
"Poultry Waste" by Jeff Mochan, 9th June 2008
PDF document available on www.niassembly.gov.uk
www.aboutbioenergy.info
www.eprl.co.uk
www.nce.co.uk
Location

Thetford Biomass Power Station