The Birmingham Bio-Power plant in Tyseley, just outside Birmingham, provides 9MWe (net) of renewable electricity to the national grid. This power will be eligible for Renewable Obligations Certificates under the UK government’s renewables incentive scheme.

The project was developed by Carbonarius Ltd, a successful private developer of local power production facilities. Birmingham Bio-Power was a special purpose vehicle set up by Carbonarius, for the Tyseley project with other equity investors and debt providers, including the UK Governments Green Investment Bank.

Power is raised using an advanced gasification technology provided by Nexterra Systems Corp. of Canada to gasify waste wood, raise steam and drive an efficient steam turbine unit. All emissions from the gasification process are treated and continually monitored to meet exacting EU requirements.

MWH Treatment’s (MWHT) role was the design development of the scheme and the formulation of an Engineer, Procure, Construct (EPC) commercial package for the project to meet both the project financial model and funders’ requirements. MWHT delivered the project to commence generation to the grid by February 2016, thereafter taking on an operation and maintenance role for the facility.

The core gasification technology has excellent credentials and a track record having been provided on similar applications in some very sensitive locations. The steam raised by the gasification process drives a Siemens steam turbine, a robust and trustworthy approach to raising electrical power. Emissions from the facility are treated with chemicals and filtered in a baghouse to meet strict WID emission requirements.

The site and its location presented MWHT with some design challenges, working within an existing planning envelope, satisfying the requirements of local stakeholders including the Canal & River Trust, and meeting tight noise and lighting criteria in what is a mixed industrial and residential area. 

  • Qualified as a UK Advanced Conversion Technology (ACT).
  • Project received the highest level of Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs).