Guardbridge energy project moves a step closer to completion

The 6.5MW biomass boiler furnace at the Guardbridge Energy Project.
The 6.5MW biomass boiler furnace at the Guardbridge Energy Project.

Guardbridge Energy Centre has taken delivery of a key piece of plant – all the way from Sweden.

A 10-metre high 65MW biomass boiler and furnace made the 1300-mile journey from the manufacturer in the remote town of Järnforsen.

The Guardbridge Energy Centre.

The Guardbridge Energy Centre.

Its arrival moves the £25 million project a step closer to completion.

Mike Cooke, regional director for Vital Energi, the company carrying out the work, said: “I believe that this is one of the most exciting energy projects in the whole of the UK and the scale of the network, the carbon savings generated and the benefits to the local community make it unique.

“The biomass boiler will be the heart of this energy solution, using up to 17,000 tonnes of locally sourced wood to deliver greener, more affordable heat and hot water to the university’s buildings and the scheme is a great example to other organisations of what can be achieved.”

Vital Energi is retrofitting a state of the art energy centre into the former paper mill alongside a 14-mile district heating network, which will connect to 37 buildings and plant rooms.

When completed, the project will lead to a reduction of around 6000 tonnes of CO2 per annum.

The biomass boiler and furnace, which will weigh over 130 tonnes when working, can generate heat above 1000°C.

The furnace will generate high temperature flue gases, which pass through the exhaust gas heat exchanger, generating medium temperature hot water.

This will then pass through a system of heat exchangers to generate the low temperature hot water which will be pumped through a district heating network to the North Haugh campus, where it will deliver heat and hot water for the next 50 years.