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ABP collects keys to Drax bio hub

Spencer Group completes work on handling facility at Port of Hull

ABP collects keys to Drax bio hub image

Hull-based engineering outfit Spencer Group has completed a biomass handling facility at the city’s port that will service the Drax power station.

The facility is the first to be delivered under a £150m, 15-year contract between operator Associated British Ports and Drax Power Limited in support of the Selby facility’s ongoing conversion from coal to biomass.

Work began in April 2013 with Spencer building handling, storage and discharge facilities plus associated infrastructure. The keys were handed to ABP on time and within budget.

The facility (pictured) will handle a million tonnes of wood pellets a year, which will be imported from the US and Canada. The pellets will be stored in warehouses before being delivered to the new facility by  trucks and unloaded into feeders.

The automated system is capable of loading up to 30 rail wagons with 1500 tonnes of material in just 45 minutes.

Spencer Group chief operating officer Gary Thornton said: “We are delighted to have met the expectations of our client with the successful delivery of this complex and challenging project.

“We are especially pleased to have worked so constructively with ABP and Drax on the first project to be delivered as part of the major investment being made in the Humber Ports to support the phased conversion of Drax to a predominantly biomass-fuelled generator.”

Drax director of corporate affairs Philip Hudson added: “With its headquarters in Hull, Spencer Group was geographically well placed to take on the project, supported by a trusted and reliable local supply chain.  The facility at the Port of Hull is an impressive feat of engineering, addressing successfully a number of operational challenges.”

ABP head of projects for the Humber Simon Brett said Spencer Group had “delivered a design and build project to meet the requirements of both ABP and Drax Power”.

Image: Spencer Group

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