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MHEA members support Drax biomass conversion project

Ian Birkinshaw, operations director at Portasilo Bulk Handling Systems, delivered a presentation to delegates at the Bulk2014 conference about a pioneering biomass conversion project at Drax. Drax is transforming itself into a predominantly biomass-fuelled generator through burning sustainable biomass in place of coal. It plans to convert three of its six generating units to burn biomass. The first unit was converted in April 2013. Drax’s calculations show that the range of biomass materials it has burnt over the last few years has a far lower carbon footprint than that of fossil fuel-fired power stations. The average carbon dioxide saving, over the full life cycle, resulting from burning biomass in place of coal is above 80 per cent.

The project was only able to get off the ground thanks to the expertise and support of a number of MHEA members, who provided the following products and services:

  • Atex – explosion suppression systems
  • Don Valley – installation services
  • Fike – explosion panels
  • Greenbank – conveying pipework
  • Kingfisher – conveying pipework
  • Portasilo – dust handling system and BDS silos
  • Robsons – conveyor belts
  • Rotex – screens
  • Schenck – conveying from BDS silos to mills
  • Vibrafloor – dome extraction
  • Wolfson Centre – academic scrutiny


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