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Major milestones for in-construction Slough Multifuel

22 Mar 2024

Commissioning on a new energy-from-waste facility in Slough has reached a major milestone following the ‘first fire’ at the site.

The 55MW Slough Multifuel is being developed as a joint venture by SSE Thermal and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and is scheduled to enter commercial operations this summer.

The facility, which is located within Slough Trading Estate in Berkshire, will divert thousands of tonnes of waste away from landfill and instead convert it into a valuable source of energy.

Construction has been underway since May 2021 and led by specialist EPC contractor HZI with commissioning activities ramping up as the project enters its final stages of development.

Last month saw the delivery of first fuel followed by the inaugural steam blow. The latter is a crucial step in commissioning and allows for the piping system to be purged of debris before being connected to the steam turbine. Now, the first fire of the turbine has taken place – a vital step in the overall commissioning programme.

In late 2023, a Development Consent Order was granted which allowed the site’s output to be increased from up to 50MW to up to 60MW. Slough Multifuel has a 15-year capacity agreement which is due to commence in the 2024/25 delivery year.

Charlie Cryans, Director of Construction at SSE Thermal, said:

We take great pride in our ability to deliver large capital projects such as Slough Multifuel. This is a complex build with construction taking place on an extremely tight site and the team has risen to the challenge with real skill and ingenuity.

“Achieving first fire is a crucial milestone and we are on schedule to enter commercial operations this summer, allowing the site to fulfil an important role in the UK’s electricity system.” 

Paul Hook, SSE’s Project Manager for Slough Multifuel, said:

“The whole team has worked extremely hard to ensure we safely meet these milestones, and the short transition from construction to fuel delivery and first fire signifies the progress we have made as we move into the final phase of the project.”

Tim Forrest of CIP, said:

“We are proud of what has been achieved here at Slough. The co-operation between all involved has been great and we would like to thank all the businesses involved, HZI building the plant, the waste suppliers, and the ash offtakers, for helping us reach this major milestone.”