Gas for your cooker from energy crops

Published 7th October 2013 at 10:44am

F.L.I. Energy has selected Sheffield City Region based Chesterfield Biogas Ltd (CBG) to supply an upgrader to process biogas produced from digesting energy crops such as maize. The upgrader – which purifies the gas, converting it to the quality required to inject it into the national gas grid – is a major capital component of the project being built at Ellough, near Beccles, Suffolk.

A principal determining factor in the award of the contract is said to be that CBG is a UK-based company. Long-term support services are on hand from its headquarters in the Meadowhall district of Sheffield. 24/7 monitoring, plus a planned maintenance programme – to ensure the upgrader’s efficiency in the years ahead – form part of the 7-figure contract. Spares for key parts will be held in the UK. The plant is due to be commissioned in mid-2014.

In 2010, at the sewage treatment plant of Thames Water in Didcot, Oxfordshire, CBG supplied the biogas unit central to the UK’s very first successful injection of upgraded biogas to the grid.

Since then CBG has played a leading role raising the awareness in the UK of the benefits of this proven renewable energy technology. The company has developed special technical expertise in relation to the different organic feedstocks which can be processed by the AD plant and which may affect the content of the raw gas sent to the upgrader.

At the Beccles plant, the feedstock will be energy crops but, on other projects, CBG’s water-wash units have been shown to be adaptable to a variety of feedstock inputs. Last month the company reported an order for a similar unit which processes gas from food waste collections. No chemicals are involved in the process.

Managing Director of Chesterfield BioGas, Stephen McCulloch says of the contract award:

“ We have been working in partnership with FLI Energy for some months to develop this, our second new UK contract within a few weeks. We view all such projects as a partnership process because, while the upgraders that we offer are modular, ‘plug-and-go’ systems, all sites have their particular requirements and constraints.

“We are aware that the support package has been an important factor in our clinching this contrac