The Brite Partnership secured planning permission in 2010 for a biomass development at the Firth Rixson Ickles Works at Templeborough where land and disused buildings where purchased in March 2011. The plant will generate heat and power from carbon-neutral renewable wood pellet fuel.
Earlier this year it was announced that Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CI) had acquired 100% of the project for £150m and created Templeborough Biomass Power Plant Limited to take the development forward.
Babcock & Wilcox Vølund A/S, the Danish subsidiary of the giant US Babcock & Wilcox Company, will design, manufacture, and operate the plant, with Interserve responsible for its construction.
After six months focussing on cleaning up the site, which was an operating steel works from 1871 until recently, the required remedial work has all now been completed. There were also several redundant buildings on site that have been demolished, with much of the concrete and other building materials being recycled.
The next step in the development of the plant is the construction of the new buildings. The piling has taken place and the new buildings have now started to take shape, with cranes and the first sections of wall emerging over the top of the site boundaries.
Tim Forrest from Templeborough Biomass Power Plant Ltd, said: “The construction teams have been working hard since March and they have now progressed the project to the point where we are starting to see the buildings take shape right across the site, which is really fantastic. We have also received great support and advice from Rotherham Investment & Development Office and also the council’s planning team, who have assisted us right through the planning and consenting process.
“We’re still on course for an opening in late summer 2017 and hope that everyone in the community around the site will be as excited as we are to see the plant progressing and to make sure we all benefit from this new local industry.”
The team has launched a dedicated project website to provide information on renewable energy, how biomass plants work and answer some of the most frequently asked questions.
Forrest added: “We are really pleased to be launching our new dedicated website which we hope will put people at the heart of our construction. It will keep them up to date with our activities and answer their questions as well as enabling them to watch the plant take shape over the coming months. It is an exciting time for us and we want to make sure that our community feels involved with our project as it develops.”
Set to generate 41MW of energy, more than the nearby biomass plant at Blackburn Meadows, around 80 personnel are currently on site. This number will increase as the site grows and develops, peaking at about 350 as the construction process progresses.