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Biomass energy plant starts commercial operation

Following successful performance trials, Helius Energy plc says that the Helius CoRDe Limited biomass energy plant in Rothes, Speyside, Scotland has begun commercial operation.

The CoRDe plant uses by-products from nearby malt whisky distilleries to produce renewable energy and liquid animal feed product (pot ale syrup) and will be accredited as a combined heat and power plant under Renewables Obligation legislation.

The project, which includes an 8.32 MWe power plant and a 66.5 t/h pot ale evaporator plant, is owned and operated by the CoRDe joint venture between Helius Energy plc, Rabo Project Equity BV and the Combination of Rothes Distillers Limited (CoRD). It will generate enough electricity to power 9,000 homes and will save around 46,000 tonnes per year of CO2 compared to a similarly sized coal-fired facility. A further reduction of 18,000 tonnes of CO2 per year will be achieved by closing the existing gas fired CoRD facility located at the same site.

During performance trials the plant successfully achieved gross power output of 8.4 MWe and net design throughput of 73.2 t/h of pot ale through the evaporator plant.

The project will generate revenues from index-linked gate fees received for the processing of distillery residues, the sale of electricity and associated ROC sales, and the sale of Spey Syrup into the animal feed market. CoRDe will continue actively to explore opportunities to increase the distillery residues processed by the project.

“We are delighted to have successfully completed the final testing and handover of the Rothes plant,” said Adrian Bowles, Helius CEO. “Completing it on time and within budget sends a very strong message about Helius’ ability to deliver biomass projects. The facility has been producing renewable electricity since January this year and will now enter full commercial operation as an outstanding example of renewable energy production in action.”

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