Uskmouth ‘energy from waste’ conversion delayed as Simec Atlantis seeks data centre customers

Conversion of the Uskmouth coal-fired power station to burn pellets made from waste will now take place in two stages, owner Atlantis has announced, with the second 110MW unit financed after the first enters operation.

The delay to unit 2 was described by  the company as an adjustment following Covid-19 disruptions.

The company, which recently announced successful completion of large-scale combustion testing for its waste pellets, said final design studies are now underway. A global ‘engineer, procure, construct’ tender process is now expected to conclude in early Q1 2021. Financial close is therefore expected to occur in late Q1 2021 or early Q2 2021.

Upon successful commissioning of Phase 1 it is intended that a second unit (“Phase 2”) will be converted to increase the total net output from the station to 220MW.

Atlantis also announced that it has engaged data centre development specialist TechRE to explore options to locate data centres within the Uskmouth site’s ‘development envelope’ at Newport. Atlantis says  power could be delivered through a private wire network under a long-term power purchase agreement to owners and operators of these data centres.

Tim Cornelius, chief executive of SIMEC Atlantis Energy, said:“The decision to phase the conversion into two stages is prudent as it de-risks supply chain timelines, fuel supply and most importantly the timeline to first electrons exported to the grid and therefore revenue generation.

“Further, we are delighted to be working with TechRe on the potential development of a large, private wire supply contract to data centre operators at Uskmouth. This could become one of the most exciting corporate PPA projects in the UK, demonstrating how the digital economy can work hand-in-hand with sustainable energy generators to establish more data centre capacity in the UK to meet ever growing demands in an ethical and responsible way.”