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Biomass silos for Port of Tyne

Three silos have been erected as the centrepiece of largescale wood pellet facilities at the UK Port of Tyne.

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The structures, each 36m (118ft) tall and 45m in diameter, have been built by engineering specialist Spencer Group as part of a major, multi-million pound contract awarded by Lynemouth Power Ltd. In due course, the silos will be topped off with ‘penthouse’ structures, housing the drive mechanism for the wood pellet conveyor system, taking the full height of the buildings to 45m.

The facilities at Tyne Dock in South Shields will handle up to 1.8 Mtpa of wood pellets at regime, to support the full conversion of Lynemouth Power Station in Northumberland from coalburning to biomass.

Wood pellets will be conveyed mechanically from the dock to the silos, each able to store 25,000t of pellets. They will be discharged from the silos via two conveying streams to a rail-loading facility to take the material to the power station by train.

Spencer said it has utilised industry-leading particle controls in the materials handling system, as well as sophisticated measures to monitor and manage the condition of the wood pellets. To complete the project, Spencer will carry out modifications to the existing rail infrastructure to provide dedicated rail lines to serve the power station and connect the new facilities to the 11 kV mains supply.

Gantry structures are being erected as part of the conveyor system taking the wood pellets from the quayside to the silos and, finally, the railloading facility. The gantry structures have been fabricated off site, and are being pre assembled on the port estate, prior to installation. The new facilities are due to be fully operational later this year.

Andrew Moffat, CEO of the Port of Tyne, pointed out that the port installed its first wood pellets facility in 2009. He added that two more Taller Silva dedusting hoppers are under construction in Spain, and are due on site in April.

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