International renewable energy consultancy Natural Power has this month been awarded their first Biomass contract in Ireland. The contract will see Natural Power provide Owners Engineer services for Biotricity Ltd on their Rhode Biomass Plant in Co. Offaly, Ireland.
The 16.3MWe Rhode Biomass Plant is planned to be fuelled by straw and willow grown by Irish farmers, and will be designed to a high-efficiency combined heat and power (CHP) plant, in accordance with the requirements of the REFIT scheme. A separate timber processing facility will be constructed adjacent to the power plant and will consume heat from the biomass CHP plant. The facility is expected to generate enough energy to meet the requirements of 5,500 homes and will displace the equivalent of 66,000 tonnes of CO2 annually.
Natural Power will perform the role of Owner’s Engineer during the detailed design, procurement and construction of the complete plant, which is expected to last for a period of approximately two years.
Speaking on their appointment, Cris Sagar, Senior Manager of Biomass Services at Natural Power commented: “As we grow our business in line with the rapidly expanding biomass market, this significant contract win is testament to the high level of technical expertise Natural Power can bring to clients.”
Natural Power opened their Irish office in Sandyford, Dublin earlier this year following more than fifteen years of consulting work in the region. Marc Lamphiere, Senior Project Manager in Ireland said: “We are delighted that after opening our Irish office in March, we have already secured this great deal with Biotricity. It is great to work on a local project which will help secure Ireland’s sustainable energy future.”
Declan Kennedy, Biotricity Managing Director commented on this project: “Biotricity are delighted to be constructing this new €80m biomass plant in Co. Offaly which will create over 265 jobs for the local community and also help Ireland achieve its renewable energy targets. This is a significant Irish success story: of our Capex of €80 million, approx 80%, or €64 million is going to Irish Engineering companies. During the operation of the plant in excess of €11 million per annum will be spent on fuel stocks and salaries. This figure will increase in line with inflation and has to be seen as a significant boost for the rural economy We are delighted that Natural Power are at the helm of this project, with their new local base in Ireland and in house experience and service offerings within the sector.”