Over 30,000 homes in South Wales now enjoy virtually CO2 neutral heat and power thanks to the revolutionary ECO2 power station at Margam, Port Talbot. This plant uses a Rotochopper B66 horizontal grinder to process forestry waste from across South Wales and recycled industrial timber into wood fiber fuel.
ECO2’s choice of the B66 highlights Rotochopper Inc.’s ability to meet exacting customer specifications, says Sean Reilly, of European importer Equipment Supply Services: “Local planners insisted that the grinder meet strict noise and dust emission targets and was also highly economical on fuel usage. In addition, ECO2 had tight size specifications for the finished fuel product to be used in their plant. We satisfied all their demands and secured a high-profile order.”
The ECO2 power station is helping clean up the atmosphere in a town that used to be blighted by the pollution from a huge steel works, chemical plants and a range of other heavy industries, as well as bringing fresh employment to the area. Wales is a heavily forested country, and the power station sources much of its fuel from the Welsh Forestry Commission–mainly the tops and sides of harvested trees–alongside selected clean waste wood from other sources.
The 14 MWe capacity plant, which has a predicted annual output of 111
GWh, is estimated to be saving carbon dioxide emissions of some 47,000
metric tonnes a year. “Pollution has been a problem in this area for
generations,” says Reilly. “But the ECO2 power station is making a
huge contribution to cleaning up the atmosphere, as well as creating
20 new jobs in an area hard hit by factory closures and the like.”
The B66 is processing the 176,369 tons (160,000,00 kg) of wood the power plant consumes every year and is successfully meeting a range of exacting standards imposed by local planning authorities, Reilly states. “One of the reasons we won this contract over a number of competitors was that Rotochopper could customize the machine so that it meets strict goals for dust emissions, metal extraction, and other concerns.”
Reilly points out that the B66 is one of the smaller pieces of equipment operating at the plant--but that it has the largest ramifications if it is not consistently running. "Plants like ECO2 can't afford downtime. This machine has to not only stay up and running but also meet strict targets for fuel specs on a daily basis."
Reilly notes that the B66 horizontal grinder is supplying ECO2 with a remarkably low operating cost per ton of finished fuel product, while also achieving excellent uniformity of particle size, which helps the power station achieve optimum quality burn and power output.