SIMEC Atlantis to break conversion of Uskmouth into two phases
In a statement, Tim Cornelius, the chief executive officer (CEO) of SIMEC Atlantis, said the decision to phase the conversion would de-risk supply chain timelines, the fuel supply and speed up the path to revenue generation.
The plan at Uskmouth is to convert a coal-fired power station to a facility that can use waste-derived fuel pellets consisting of 50% waste biomass materials with the remaining fuel pellet content made up of plastic wastes that are unsuitable for recycling.
The company said the initial phase of development will comprise the conversion of the first 110 megawatt (MW) generation unit at the power station; when this has been completed, Phase 2 will kick in and work will start on getting a second unit converted to increase the total net output from the station to 220MW.
As announced last month, final design studies are now underway to determine what needs to be included in the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract.
SIMEC Atlantis said the conversion works for Phase 1 are expected to take 18 months from commencement of the EPC contract. Atlantis will seek to achieve financial close for Phase 2 as soon as possible following commissioning of Phase 1.
The company also announced that it has engaged data centre development specialist TechRE to look at the possibility of locating internet edge and hyper-scale data centres within the Uskmouth power project. The company believes it should be possible to deliver power generated at Uskmouth to the electricity-hungry data centres through a private wire network.
“The continued focus on the transition to a carbon-neutral economy has received fresh impetus as a result of the impact of COVID-19 and countries around the world are looking at the opportunities presented by a move to a carbon-free economy as a way to create jobs and generate sustainable prosperity.
“The Uskmouth project is leading the way to a sustainable future and we are delighted that so much progress has been able to be made on this important project despite the disruptions we have all experienced so far during 2020,” CEO Cornelius said.
Henry Sutton of TechRe Consulting added that it is looking to identify “anchor customers” for a data centre located next to, and supplied by, the Uskmouth project.
“The Uskmouth site will be attractive for hyper-scale, wholesale co-location and internet edge operators and will form a unique, fully connected and sustainable tech hub,” Sutton said.