Hull's £200m power plant nears completion

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 21 Jun 2017

A derelict site next to the River Hull has been totally transformed as a huge £200m power station nears completion.

The Energy Works complex in Cleveland Street is due to start generating electricity next April, despite the numerous hurdles it has had to overcome since building started two years ago.

The largest facility of its type in the UK, it will convert domestic and commercial waste into sufficient energy to power 43,000 homes.

Using a process known as fluidised bed gasification, it is expected to divert around 250,000 tonnes of material from landfill every year.

An aerial view of the Energy Works complex

Richard Burgess, deputy managing director for the Hull-based Spencer Group, said the civil engineering company had overcome a host of hurdles to get the project off the ground. "We are stubborn, we are entrepreneurially-led and we love a challenge,” he said.

“We deployed the best resources we have within the business to get this over the line.”

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Mr Burgess described Energy Works as "a project driven by passion", reflecting group executive chairman Charlie Spencer's desire to deliver a significant scheme to benefit his home city.

"We did a lot of work into selection of a technology that was both novel and at the level of readiness that we could raise finance behind," he said.

“Energy Works will be the only power station of its type that is developed by a private developer and funded with the mix of finance that we have in place.

“We have got there when many others have failed. The ability to understand the technology all the way through has been critically important to achieving that.

"One of the challenges is to ensure our environmental impact is minimal. We don’t want anything that is in any way harmful to the environment."

Spencer Group chief executive Charlie Spencer with a model of the Energy Works development

Government subsidy, support from private investors and a £20m grant from the European Union's regional development fund has helped finance the scheme. Mr Burgess said: "The ability to glue it all together was very important.

“We have excellent partners – a great contractor on site, a great financial team, a great operations and maintenance provider – and they have stuck with us and helped us through every step of the way.”

Read more: Renewables growth brings boost for Hull firm Pearson Electrical



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