Guide: The biomass power supply of the Drax Power Plant in the United Kingdom has exceeded 13 billion kWh for three consecutive years, and its annual biomass fuel consumption has exceeded 7 million tons. Since a large amount of biomass fuel comes from North America, ports have also become an essential link in its operating system.
The biomass power supply of the Drax Power Plant in the United Kingdom has exceeded 13 billion kWh for three consecutive years, and its annual biomass fuel consumption has exceeded 7 million tons. Since a large amount of biomass fuel comes from North America, ports have also become an essential link in its operating system. So, what are the special features of ports that handle biomass fuels?
Since its birth, the Port of Immingham has been in close contact with the British railway track and energy system. The port was originally constructed in 1912 by the Humber Commercial Railway and Dock company and the Great Central Railway. The original intention was to export the most important fuel at the time: coal. Today, in terms of tonnage and weight, the Port of Immingham is the largest port in the UK. Although the port’s transportation network has always existed, the cargo is constantly changing with the times.
This port is now connected to a modern railway infrastructure, which helps to run a renewable energy system. The Port of Immingham is one of the four local ports through which Drax power plant biomass fuel enters the UK, and is also the world's largest biomass fuel port. These biomass fuels are used to generate electricity at the Drax Drax Power Plant in Yorkshire, England. The four 660MW coal-fired units of the Drax Power Plant have been transformed into 100% biomass fuel-burning power plants. It is the world’s largest biomass-fueled power plant. It has produced more than 10 billion kWh of biomass power for 5 consecutive years and consumes more than 7 million biomass pellets annually Tons, the average daily biomass fuel consumption exceeds 20,000 tons.
Associated British Ports and the Drax Power Plant signed a 15-year agreement to renovate the port that had previously transported coal and update its unloading, storage, railway and road facilities to make it equipped with biomass Fuel conditions: The biomass fuel loaded by a 60,000-ton-class transport ship can be transported from the ship to a special biomass fuel transport train to the Drax power plant.
The biomass fuel ship unloading capacity of Immingham Port has reached 2,300 tons per hour. The key component is that the continuous ship unloader replaces the original grab crane in the port and uses a combination of suction and Archimedes screw. The continuous ship unloader is specially designed for the port of Immingham. The machine can maintain a constant working condition regardless of whether the Humber River where the port of Immingham is located is tidal or fluctuating.
The biomass fuel is transported to the transportation line by the ship unloader, and then is transported from the dock to the biomass fuel silo in the port. Biomass fuel is different from coal. Coal can be stored in the open, while biomass needs to be kept as dry as possible. In 2016, the port of Immingham used to store 8 silos for biomass fuel. Each silo can hold 25,000 tons of biomass fuel for a total of 200,000 tons, with a total capacity of 336,000 cubic meters. Here, biomass fuel can be stored for several days to several months, depending on the fuel demand of the Drax power plant.
Biomass fuel will be transported along the conveyor belt to the train specially designed for the Drax power plant. In order to achieve maximum loading efficiency, the railway facilities of Immingham Port and the train carriages of Drax are different from ordinary railways and trains. When the train enters the loading bay, its speed drops to half a mile per hour, where sensors and magnets open the truck's door and close it when it is full. A high degree of process automation allows a 25-carriage train to fill up in just 37 minutes. A total of 12 trains can pass every day, which means that the port can send 72 trains to Drax every week. According to the full load capacity of each carriage is 71.6 tons of biomass fuel, 25 carriages mean that each train can carry 1,700 to 1,800 tons. The biomass fuel transportation capacity from the port of Immingham to the Drax power plant alone can reach a maximum of 20,000 tons per day or 130,000 tons per week. The next section introduces the railway system of the Drax Power Plant.