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Spencer completes first stage of £150m biomass project



TOWERING over the Hull skyline, a giant silo has been erected to help one of Britain’s biggest power stations become greener.

Engineering business Spencer Group has completed the first stage of a £150m investment in biomass handling operations at the Humber Ports.

The facility at the Port of Hull will support a 15-year contract between port operator Associated British Ports (ABP) and Drax Power.

As a result of the deal, biomass will be transported to Drax Power Station, near Selby, as part of a long-term programme that will transform Drax into a predominantly biomass-fuelled generator.

Spencer has built biomass handling, storage and discharge facilities on the site. The facility will handle a million tonnes a year of biomass imported by sea from the US and Canada in the form of wood pellets.

Gary Thornton, Spencer Group chief operating officer, said: “The Humber Ports are becoming a major gateway for biomass shipments into the UK, and a strategic asset driving the growth of green energy industries along the estuary.”

Simon Brett, head of projects, Humber, for ABP, said: “The facility will be able to accommodate up to four trains per day.”

Spencer Group has been involved in a number of green energy projects.

It designed and built a biomass reception, handling and storage facility at Drax in 2010.

The port investments are generating around 100 jobs during the construction phase. An extra 100 jobs are expected to be created, once all the facilities become fully operational.

The largest is an investment of around £125m in a dedicated import facility, the Immingham Renewable Fuels Terminal (IRFT), which is due to be completed later this year.