ABP handles largest ever biomass pellet shipment at Port of Hull

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 22 Mar 2019

The largest shipment of biomass pellets ever to arrive at the Port of Hull will generate enough clean energy to power 18,000 homes for a year.

The 30,000 tonnes of wood pellets came into the docks on-board a 200m-long vessel, before being unloaded into lorries in an operation which took almost 80 hours.

The pellets were bound for Drax Power Station, which now runs four biomass generating units accounting for 75 per cent of all the power generated at the plant.

Simon Bird, ABP Humber director, said: “It’s important to work in partnership with our customers to enable to them to grow and achieve fundamental business objectives.

“Our highly-skilled teams and continuing investment in infrastructure are vital factors in ensuring we can always offer the best possible services to our customers.”

The Isadora vessel bringing 30,000 tonnes of wood pellets into the Port of Hull (Image: ABP)

The operation to move the pellets from the Isadora vessel to the shore took 77 hours.

Some of the pellets were also stored at ABP’s state-of-the-art biomass facility, known as 26 Shed.

READ MORE: Drax returns to profit as annual earnings surge

 The Port of Hull is home to a dedicated rail-load-out facility for Drax, and in 40 minutes can load a train with 1,600 tonnes of wood pellets.

Up to 17 biomass trains per week can deliver fuel to Drax, near Goole, from the city’s docks.

Biomass wood pellets

Mark Gibbens, head of logistics at Drax, said: “Developing a supply chain able to deliver the sustainable biomass in the quantities required was central to us being able to convert two thirds of the power station to use biomass instead of coal, transforming the business to become the largest decarbonisation project in Europe.

“We have supported investment of £300m in our port facilities and our operations support 5,700 jobs in the supply chain in the north and contribute £600m to the region’s economy.

READ MORE: Leading East Yorkshire biomass firm Y Pellets invests millions into new refinery

“The Port of Hull is an important part of the Drax supply chain, and continues to handle biomass for us in a safe and reliable manner.”

The wood pellets arrived at ABP’s Dry Bulks Terminal.

Drax is converting its power station to run off sustainable biomass rather than coal

The terminal has recently seen increased business, and 2018 saw a strong performance with the UK's leading crop production and grain marketing business - Frontier Agriculture.

Richard Pollard, Frontier Agriculture operations director, said: “Access to efficient import and export services is important to us as it enables us to manage the grain supply chain effectively for our farmer and grain consumer customers.

“ABP has provided vital support to this aspect of our business; handling up to three times more throughput than planned last year and at times exceeding the expected tonnes-per-hour performance rate by up to 50%.”

Drax’s biomass fuel is shipped from America, where the company has three manufacturing plants which convert wood into compressed pellets.

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