Owning and Operating Costs of Waste and Biomass Power Plants

Claverton Energy Conference, 23/24/25th October 2009

Dave Andrews, DAEC

(Note - this is a general note about one manufacturer. For a a more detailed and recent survey of suitable manufactuers, send an email to tyningroad@gmail.com)

Here are some broad brush head line figures for the owning and operating of a particular kind of advanced staged combustion power plant, obtained from a leading manufacturer, suitable for biomass, waste materials and waste wood. The  process is essential combustion, but is referred to as gasification / combustion, meaning the material is first charred on a grate, with the off syngas being burnt in a separate adjacent and low level refractory chamber.  The char is then burnt at a later stage as it moves down the great.  This leads to greater burn up of fuel and lower emissions. The syngas combustion is maintained within the ceramic, and special gas flows prevent the contaminants in the gases fouling and degrading the ceramics.

 This is a big issue in conventional plants since refractories have to be replaced every few years due to chlorine attack.

 

Bankability

 

Since 3 of these plants have now been built, with extensive operating cost, they are fully bankable.  Indeed the vendor will build, finance, own and operate units if clients desire.

 

Modularity

 

These plants are modular in nature so any size up to 80 MW can be constructed from 4 basic sizes – this keeps costs down.

 

Build Costs (all high budget figures) for a 4.5 MWe plant

 

Civil build including all utility connections grid gas water and drains small power and lighting site completed 3-4 million pounds.

 

Power plant with gross output of circa 4.5 MWe will cost in the region of 12-13 Million depending on final design and spec and commodity costs at the time of order.   

 

So turn key installation could cost 15-17 Million pounds.

 

Cost of capital

If we amortise 17 million over a period of 15 years the cost would be for money paid back on a 7% rate of interest on a yearly basis is £2.32 million to pay back per year.

Staffing levels

Six members of staff, in total, will be needed to operate the plant at a yearly cost of £200,000 and all these staff will be able to service the unit basic maintenance needs with  specialist help brought in from time to time.

Spares and other consumables

For all the spare parts needed and the dosing agents required and all other requirements in costs to run a power plant use a high budget of £500,000 per year.

Total running costs

This will then gives a total running and purchasing cost figure of £3.02 million pounds per year.

 

The net output will be around 4 MWe depending on final specifications.

Revenue

This will produce £4,807,269 of revenue per year under new feed in tariff or FIT.

 

Fuel cost and return

The fuel needed for 30% wet waste wood paper and card will be 5-6 tones per hour or 45,000 tones per year. If we presume this to be zero gain zero cost, assume no gate fee then this makes a very robust safety margin, ie income over costs, for the future.

 

Ie a  net profit of £1,787,269 as a likely worse case scenario. 

 

Joint Ventures, Build Own Operate, etc

 

The manufacturers are interested in owning plants either partly or fully as a project partner if this is of interest to the client. The above type of plant will be performance bonded to give absolute surety’s to maximum continuous ratings.

 

General performance and costs figures

 

Virgin wood generally are cheaper to build and have higher efficiencies than plant burning waste or contaminated wood.

 

The following budget figures are reasonable:

 

Fuel

Waste wood, reclaimed contaminated wood, card etc

Forest wood

Power Output

2 MW

20 MW

(2 x 10 MW)

80 MW

(4 x 20 MW)

2 MW

20 MW

(2 x 10MW)

80 MW

(4 x 20 MW)

£/MW

400035003000350030002500

Efficiency %

202122232527

 

Note – the above figures are provisional – but near enough – they will be finalised in the next two weeks. DA – 31 October 2009 (This is a draft paper)

 

Waste Compliance Directive – WID

 

All waste combustion plants must meet the Waste Compliance Directive – typically the plants concerned are half WID limits.

 

Heights of buildings

 

Typical most conventional stage combustion plants tend to have very tall buildings, due to the need for long residence times demanded by WID, and chimneys for dispersion. Advanced combustion techniques as used here, by virtue of existing horizontally, rather than upwards, can be restricted to 14m in height, which is a significant advantage for planning permission.

 

Fuels – ability to deal with a wide range of fuel types and contaminants.

 

These kind of plants can deal with anything from virgin wood to highly contaminated waste wood, ie containing plastics and metals, up to 30 % moisture content, and even 40% aggregate / brick.  Partly this is due to the ability to recycle hot air, but other advanced techniques are employe.

 

Further info: dave dot andrews the at symbol gmail dot com

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21 Comments

  1. Neal Van Milligen - October 31, 2009, 11:50 pm Reply

    We would do this project for half the capital cost. When would you like to begin?

    Neal Van Milligen
    Bioten Power and Energy Group
    cavm@aol.com
    270-275-9164

  2. Vinamra Chaturvedi - March 5, 2010, 7:46 am Reply

    From the Tabular statistics above, one would assume, that the waste wood processes are less efficient then the forestwood processes.

    An interesting parameter to include in the above would be a comparison of conventional fuel (like coal) $/MW on production site v/s $/MW on the consumer side.

    A less friendly figure on the consumer side in $/MW terms using conventional fuel,compared to the $/MW figure on the production side(and its relative comparison with above),should act as a pointer towards non-captive power planing.

    Am I making sense ?

    V

  3. Galina Vitkova - May 19, 2010, 7:18 am Reply

    Adding costs of 1 MWh produced by these power stations compared with the cost of electricity produced by power stations using conventional fuel to the above table of the budget figures would be very productive for better understanding the situation around sustainable energy.

  4. Petero Lafaele - August 10, 2010, 4:23 am Reply

    Sir,

    I am the Solid Waste Manager for our Utility in a US Territoryxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. The Utility is Ameican xxxxxxxxxxxxxxPower Authority. I am interested in the WtE technology and would like to learn more on your BioMass technology.

    I’m also interested in a combination of Biomass & Municipal wastes technology if you have.

    Kindly advise on your convenience,

    Regards,
    Petero xxxxxxx

  5. Roland Desjarlais - September 17, 2010, 4:00 pm Reply

    Hi Dave, Ive been researching and evaluating methane production and Have an Idea. As rual residents many homes have septic systems is there a possability that system could be modified to produce methane to fuel there home for heating, and/or power generation, I’m trying to figure out a free supply of fuel continuously.
    Respectfully

  6. admin - September 17, 2010, 4:22 pm Reply

    Roland – idea is a non starter – as a little research would have shown. ie Avonmouth Sewage Works produces 3 MW of electricity from 1,000,000 persons – do the maths.

  7. Sustanibity Source #2 « allentbulldog2015 - November 8, 2011, 9:26 pm Reply

    […] ^ Owning and Operating Costs of Waste and Biomass Power Plants […]

  8. karim - December 21, 2011, 12:22 am Reply

    can bamboo be used as fuel and if so donou have any data to support it.

  9. pawan R parshuramkar - January 10, 2012, 3:06 pm Reply

    hi,
    i am intrasted to start biomass power of 1mw
    plz i want your instruction

  10. obedekah jack - April 29, 2012, 1:58 am Reply

    HI AM INTRASTED TO START A NEW PROJET FOR NOW ABOUT WASTE AND ENERGY.

  11. Jake - May 12, 2012, 7:21 am Reply

    Hi there is it true that biomass boilers can run on hazlenut shells.

  12. Azad - May 17, 2012, 6:40 am Reply

    we could provide a turnkey project for half the cost. Let us know your interest.

  13. John Stride - August 30, 2012, 6:52 pm Reply

    Could you contact me regarding a new biomass project

  14. Mr. Lalitha Jayaratne - September 3, 2012, 12:56 pm Reply

    We are looking a turn-key supplier of biomass power plants 2MW – 10 MW. Our site & grid is ok for 10 MWe. We are arrange to use Gliricidea Sepium as fire wood. Addition to this paddy husk, waste wood chips & agri waste also available.
    Thanking you
    L. Jayaratne
    Chairman
    EverGreen Power

  15. O M - September 6, 2012, 5:12 pm Reply

    I am interested in developing a proposal / discussing about a waste to enery plant for roughly 2MW power in West Africa. Thanks

  16. Rully Andrian - February 19, 2013, 8:17 am Reply

    We got solid supply of forestry wood chips up to 7000 tons/month. and recently selling electricity to goverment (up to 165MV Diesel).
    looking for advice for Biomass Power Plant.

    VBR,
    Rully

  17. John Kiewiet - March 9, 2013, 12:18 am Reply

    Hi Rully

    Your bulk supply of 7000 tonnes of biomass depending on moisture content could give you a burn rate of about 10 tonnes per hour, if the calorific value (CV) is in the order of 10 MJ /kg , a modern rankine cycle steam plant will could give an electrical output of about 6 MW.

    Every aspect of of this type of installation will depend on the CV of the fuel , the moisture content, the fuel preparation is important which should be chipped down to a size of about 50 mm diameter or less to be fired in a spreader stoker fired boiler giving about 40 tonnes of steam per hour. Air or water cooled condensing will be required, plus all the usual boiler auxiliary plant of fans, feed pumps , fuel handling will also be required.

    The water requirement will range from about 30 tonne per hour for wet cooling down to about 3 tonne per hour for dry cooling.

    This sort of plant could be viable depending on how firm the fuel and water supply is.

    I do not understand your comment about diesel plant generation, but if you are already operating plant on a commercial basis then a 6 MW steam plant even becomes more viable depending depending on existing site infrastructure.

    I will certainly be able to recommend your inquiry for further engineering study and costing depending on how far you would like to proceed.

    Regards

  18. Adam - March 20, 2013, 4:18 am Reply

    Hi…we have a woody biomass project in Indonesia. Looking to do 11MW. Does anyone have experience in this part of the world building out these gasification plants?

  19. Rachel - May 7, 2014, 11:13 am Reply

    hi there

    we are looking for Biomass power plant (3-10MW).
    Anyone selling it or know any other company who’s selling biomass plant?
    sales@textiles-mart.co.uk

  20. Chris Yogaswaran - August 26, 2014, 2:20 pm Reply

    I am familiar with Indonesia, got a suitable candidate for you.
    Email me if interested.

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