Phase one of Peel Ports’ £100m biomass terminal at the Port of Liverpool is complete, with the first shipment of wood pellets departing from the facility bound for Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire.
The biomass terminal is being built to handle three million tonnes of wood pellets a year as part of the decarbonisation of Drax power station.
The wood pellets will be shipped to Liverpool from North America and are a by-product of the saw-milling industry. The wood will be used at the Selby-based power station as a new fuel source. In moving from coal to biomass Drax will reduce its CO2 footprint by 12m tonnes a year.
All of the wood pellets will be sent to Drax by rail from Liverpool to Selby ensuring there is no impact on the local road network. The terminal will feature a rail loading facility and storage capacity for 100,000 tonnes.
Drax is the country’s largest single generator of renewable electricity, producing almost 2,000MW of renewable power, enough for three million homes.
A freight train with 25 specially-designed wagons carrying 1,600 tonnes of pellets left the port on Monday for the 99-mile journey to the power station.
Andy Koss, chief executive of Drax Power, said: “This is the Northern Powerhouse in action; bringing east-west connectivity and driving business and economic growth between the north west and Yorkshire.”
“This new Liverpool terminal adds to facilities on the east coast, bolstering our network still further. A robust supply chain is crucial as we continue to use the latest technology to transform the Drax power station to generate electricity using sustainable biomass, providing the UK with reliable, affordable, low carbon energy.”
Already two cargoes of biomass have been discharged with another ship from North America expected next week. The terminal will eventually have the capacity to handle three million tonnes of wood pellets a year when fully completed in 2016.
Graham Construction is the contractor for the terminal.
The terminal will contribute to the ambitious growth plans for the Port of Liverpool, with the company already investing £300m to create the UK’s most centrally located deep water container terminal, known as Liverpool2, which is due to open in December 2015.
Liverpool2 will enable the port to handle the largest container ships in the global fleet while at the same time doubling the port’s container capacity.