New joint venture funds straw-fired power plant in the UK

By Erin Voegele | August 16, 2013

U.K.-based Eco2 Ltd. has announced the sale of its Brigg Renewable Energy Plant project to BWSC PLC as part of a £160 million ($248.48 million) deal. BWSC PLC is a joint venture formed by Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor A/S (BWSC) and PensionDanmark.

According to information released by Eco2, planning permission for the 40 megawatt (MW) straw-fueled plant was granted in October 2011. The facility is to be constructed on an existing brownfield site near the town of Brigg, North Lincolnshire, England, which located approximately 165 miles north of London.

The plant is expected to be operational in early 2016. In early 2012, Eco2 announced it had completed the purchase a 13-acre site for the facility at the Glanford Vale Business Park, the site of the former British Sugar factory at Scawby Brook.

A press release issued by the companies specifies that BWSC’s share of the investment of the project is £32 million. In addition to investing in the project, BWSC will also construct the plant and provide operation and maintenance services for 15 years.  PensionDanmark’s share of the investment is £128, which will be funded via the Copenhagen Infrastructure I fund.

“This is a breakthrough for Danish energy technology exports and for U.K. funding mechanisms. The financial crisis has challenged the success of both British and Danish businesses. Now, BWSC and PensionDanmark are forming a joint venture with the aim of building, owning and operating select biomass power plants internationally.  We are using Danish Pension Fund money to improve our competitiveness and to create hundreds of green jobs in our host markets.” said Anders Heine Jensen, CEO of BWSC.

According to Eco2, the power plant will employ technology developed in Denmark. The straw-fired boiler, sourced from Burmeister & Wain Energy A/S, will generate steam. The steam will power a turbine generator, producing enough electricity to power an estimated 70,000 households.

Eco2 and BWSC have collaborated on several other projects, including a woodchip-powered plant in Whales and a similar straw-powered plant under development in Sleaford, Lincolnshire, approximately 40 miles south of Brigg.