Materials handling equipment specialist Geo Robson has become the first Sheffield company to win a contract to help build energy giant E.ON’s new biomass renewable energy plant at Blackburn Meadows.
Hours after E.ON revealed that it was poised to start building the plant, Darnall-based Robson announced that it had won a £14 million contract to supply and install handling systems for the reclaimed waste wood that will be the main source of fuel.
Robson’s production director, Kevin Mannion, said the Coleford Road company was proud to be involved with the E.ON development and committed to developing equipment for the renewable energy industry.
“This is a great opportunity for Sheffield and Robson to showcase their engineering skills and manufacturing quality, particularly in the current economic climate,” said Mr Mannion.
Robson has been developing systems for power stations for many years and recent successes include multi million pound installations at Drax Power Station in Selby and Fiddlers Ferry Power Station in Warrington.
The company also supplied a special airglide conveyor for E.ON’s existing 44MW biomass-fueled power station at Lockerbie.
Robson has designed the Blackburn Meadows biomass system to optimise unloading and ensure fuel is fed in at a continuous rate from a warehouse that can store up to 4,000 tonnes of reclaimed wood.
The equipment designed and manufacturer by the firm will include a tripper conveyor which will ensure the fuel is evenly stockpiled and a screening system that will ensure the wood is free from contaminants and metals and sampling equipment to check the quality of the material, weigh it and ensure the right amount is delivered to the furnace.
E.ON’s Blackburn Meadows plant will generate up to 30MW of electricity, enough to power 40,000 homes. It is on the site of the Blackburn Meadows 72 megawatt power station, which closed in 1980 and whose two remaining cooling towers were a landmark beside the M1, until they were demolished in 2008.