ENDS Waste & Bioenergy interview Brockwell on Earlsgate EfW progress15 November 2023
Earls Gate EfW due operational after turnaround
Owners of the Scotland-based project tell EWB how they spent months preparing for the full remobilisation and delivery of the EfW project, which had its first fire on waste last month and will be fully operational early next year
Energy-from-waste plant and renewable energy developer Brockwell Energy has confirmed its Grangemouth-based facility is currently expected to be fully operational by February next year after a successful turnaround of the project.
Speaking to EWB the company’s chief operating officer Neil Young said it had been a “Herculean team effort” to get the Earls Gate EfW facility to this stage, after the build was left about “65 to 70% complete” when its EPC contractor France-based CNIM went into administration early 2022.
Young explained that as another of Brockwell’s projects, the Westfield-based EfW, reached financial close towards the end of 2021, he and his colleagues were aware of the financial headwinds facing CNIM and sensed an inevitability to their demise.
It transpired CNIM were placed into administration in January of last year, which resulted in Brockwell having to assume the role of a principal contractor running the site through a management service agreement (MSA).
“We should’ve been celebrating getting Westfield over the line and focused on planning the mobilisation, however when CNIM were placed into administration we had to formally terminate the EPC contract for Earls Gate, which meant we’d not just lost our construction contractor, but our O&M deal as well.
“At this point we had to prepare a Rectification Plan, which included a revised programme, updated budget, construction strategy, process to appoint an O&M contractor, strategy to deal with subcontractors and approach to recovering Bond proceeds. This planning period took a number of months, however , we were ready to move forward with the plan in August 2022.”
Young explained that Brockwell gathered a new team to deliver on the Rectification Plan. The business was initially set up to develop low carbon and renewable energy projects and had never planned to be as hands-on in the principal contractor role with projects as it now was with Earls Gate.
However, with about 45 new staff recruited having experience of the project plus new team members, Young says the business was able to move forward with Earls Gate.
Brockwell also approached Hitachi Zosen Inova (HZI) over the vacant O&M deal, a contract for which was signed by Switzerland-based engineering firm over the summer.
HZI also came on board to complete the commissioning of the facility and last month Young confirmed the plant successfully achieved the first fire on waste milestone.
Young said the remainder of the hot commissioning and performance testing will take place over the coming weeks, with full takeover of the facility expected in early 2024.
However, what is now a success story for everyone still involved, could have ended very differently as Young explains.
“The project was already dealing with Brexit and Covid-related issues before the loss of CNIM, but we and our partner Encyclis, were confident in it, had the full support of our investors and lenders, and a strong revenue position, which included an offtake agreement for c 75% of the facility’s power and steam onto a private network to Calachem.
“But, we had to put our supply chain back together, which meant engaging with distressed contractors across the board, from locally-based businesses to larger suppliers in a backdrop of significant inflationary pressure. This was a huge challenge, however the team worked professionally and methodically through each of the issues.
“We did what we could to be fair and balanced in our approach to the supply chain and in the main we succeeded. We had to find a way forward with these contractors, finding a commercial approach that was acceptable and returned them to site to deliver their scopes and protect our programme. ”
Young stated “We wanted a best in class facility, which became our mantra and that’s what we’ve now got, we have been careful to ensure we safely completed the build to the original specification, and to the highest standards”.
“And yes we've injected more capital versus the original budget and it has taken more time to get to this stage on the project, but considering the specific circumstances, coupled with the macro economic environment, to deliver a best in class asset demonstrates our drive and determination to recover the project .”
Looking to the future, Young said the business expects to submit plans for a carbon capture plant to “future proof” the facility, following the news that the Scotland-based Acorn cluster would go ahead.
The UK government eventually confirmed Acorn’s previous status as a reserve cluster would be upgraded in July of this year.
Earls Gate is jointly owned by Brockwell and EfW business Encyclis. Brockwell has remained as the lead developer of the project throughout.
Brockwell Energy Welcomes Colin Walker as Group SHEQA Manager21 August 2023
Brockwell Energy are pleased to announce the newest addition to our team, Colin Walker, who will be taking on the role of Group Safety, Health, Environment, Quality and Assurance (SHEQA) Manager. With a background and a wealth of experience in various industries, Colin is set to contribute significantly to our commitment to excellence and adherence to the highest standards.
Colin brings a wealth of knowledge and a strong academic background to his role at Brockwell Energy. With a vast array of qualifications and professional affiliations, including being a Chartered Member of the Institute of Waste Management, Chartered Environmentalist, and Graduate Member of the Institution of Occupational Safety & Health, Colin's expertise spans health, safety, and environmental regulations across diverse industries such as waste, energy, and nuclear decommissioning.
Over the course of his career, Colin has played integral roles in managing and ensuring compliance with regulations, implementing health and safety management systems, and conducting thorough audits. His experience includes leadership positions where he successfully oversaw QHSE activities, managed budgets, led project teams, and developed effective relationships with regulatory bodies.
Colin explained "I am excited to join the Brockwell Energy team and contribute to their ongoing commitment to safety, health, environment, and quality excellence. I look forward to leveraging my experience and skills to ensure that the highest standards are maintained across all aspects of the organisation."
Neil Young, COO of Brockwell Energy, commented "We are delighted to welcome Colin to our team. His impressive track record and extensive experience in managing QHSE activities across a range of industries make him an excellent addition to our leadership. We are confident Colin will continue to drive our improvement initiatives and further enhance our commitment to safety, health, environment, and quality standards."
Financial Close Achieved for North Kyle Energy Project2 June 2023
Brockwell Energy has announced financial close on its North Kyle wind energy project. This will see a total investment of £300 million to deliver 220.5MW of renewable energy capacity, utilising 49 Vestas V136 turbines and generating sufficient energy to power 18,000 households.
The new scheme is being constructed near Dalmellington in East Ayrshire on and around the former Chalmerston and House of Water coal mining sites.
Originated by Brockwell Energy in 2016 as a means of stimulating restoration of the derelict former mining site, North Kyle will also help fund vital regeneration in the communities surrounding the former mining complex.
Brockwell Energy’s Chief Financial Officer Iain Cockburn has led on this support with nine local Community Councils, now known as 9CCG, a group being developed to provide a blueprint for full local empowerment in directing community benefit.
The North Kyle scheme will deliver £65 million in community benefit over 40 years. In addition to this sum, Brockwell Energy has committed to immediately provide an additional £2.6 million to help restoration of the most derelict parts of the original mining site and has made a commitment to a further £3.4 million in additional commitment to help boost the formation of the 9CCG.
The Edinburgh-based company has expressed its gratitide for the incredible support received from all stakeholders, including, and especially, the local communities, East Ayrshire Council and, as landowners, Forestry Land Scotland and Hargreaves Land Limited.
Brockwell Energy is also pleased to announce it has appointed Jones Bros Limited to carry out the construction of the project. Activities on the main site are due to start on June 12 this year and will last for approximately two years.
Alex Lambie, CEO of Brockwell Energy, commented: “I am immensely proud of our entire Brockwell team, who have delivered this flagship project after many years of diligent planning and design.
“Not only is the scale of North Kyle of national significance in the push to achieve Net Zero targets, but the project also promises to be truly game-changing for local communities. The financial support and guidance to the 9CCG will help them establish themselves with sound governance, necessary controls and procedures that ensure funding is directed to projects which provide meaningful and impactful legacy benefits to the surrounding communities.”
Brockwell Energy’s Renewable Solutions business (“BRSL”) will oversee and manage the delivery of the project. David Finnon, Managing Director of BRSL, commented: “Our team have been involved in the development of the project from the outset and have accumulated an intimate understanding of this large and complex site from a design and planning standpoint.
“With the groundwork that has been achieved already, coupled with the skills and expertise in the team, I am confident the project will be delivered safely and efficiently.”
Paul Newman, Brockwell Energy’s Commercial Director, added: “We would like to thank Vestas and Jones Bros for their continued support in developing the projects and look forward to working with both parties to successfully deliver North Kyle through the construction period and into operations.
“We also thank the NatWest team for their support in providing the long-term financing of the project."
Brockwell Reach Financial Close on Westfield EfW16 December 2021
We are delighted to announce financial close on the Westfield Energy from Waste (EfW) facility in Fife, Scotland.
The proposed plant will support the pending landfill ban by providing essential waste disposal capacity that will be needed to deal with projected residual waste disposal volumes even taking account of the most optimistic recycling targets. The plant will also be a catalyst for the re-development of one of largest derelict brownfield former coal mining sites in Central Scotland.
Our Technical & Operations Director Neil Young commented: “After many years of hard work, we are delighted to have completed the financing and contracting to enable the construction of this facility. It has been a very challenging economic period and we are grateful for the continuing support of all the key stakeholders involved in the project, including Fife Council and Fife Council’s waste dispoal business, Cireco.”
Switzerland-based Hitachi Inova Zosen (HZI) will design, build and operate the facility. HZI are the world leading global cleantech company, specialising in Energy from Waste and clean gas. HZI are widely acknowledged for designing and building the highest quality EfW plants in the world and are part of the Hitachi Zosen Corporation, one of Japan’s largest industrial and engineering firms.
Construction is due to commence on the 240,000t facility in February, 2022, and the plant is expected to be fully operational early in 2025. The project will create more than 400 jobs during its construction phase and 40 long-term skilled roles once in operation.
The EfW facility will be the leading catalyst to support the development of the wider Westfield site. Brockwell and the landowner, Hargreaves Land Limited, have already engaged with a number of industrial businesses to promote the site, thereby creating further employment opportunities. The plant will bring utilities to the site, as well a offering a cost effective and reliable source of renewable heat and power
Neil also added: “Our long-term aim is to look at how we can locate other renewable energy schemes within the wider site to enhance our offering to the market and demonstrate our commitment to developing and investing in projects that meet our environmental and social governance criteria.”
Our Commercial Director, Paul Newman, commented: “It has been a long journey from the first inception of the project more than six years ago. The delivery of a facility of this quality more than justifies the significant financial investment we have made and demonstrates it is possible to build and finance high quality merchant energy recovery plants without the need for subsidies.”
He added: “We are also very grateful for the ongoing commitment of our banking group of ABN Amro, NatWest Bank Plc, MUFG and Investec Bank Plc.”
Green Light for North Kyle13 December 2021
Brockwell Energy confirm consent for wind energy project
Brockwell Energy can announce consent has been received for its North Kyle Energy Project, one of the largest and most community-focused onshore wind projects in Scotland.
The 49-turbine development in the North Kyle forest in East Ayrshire will have a nominal capacity of up to 235MW, with turbine tip heights at a maximum of 149.9m.
The scheme, which will begin generating power in April 2024, has been carefully designed on and around the former Chalmerston, Pennyvennie and House of Water coal mining complexes. These large areas had been left derelict and unrestored following the collapse of Scottish Coal in 2013.
Brockwell Energy conceived and promoted its innovative project with support from Hargreaves Services. An important consideration in its creation was to provide additional funding to assist with the restoration of the former mining site, improve public access and provide a truly ground-breaking community benefit programme.
This is forecast to generate around £39 million of community benefit over the scheme’s lifetime.
The major financial boost will help the regeneration of the surrounding communities, many of whom have been heavily impacted by the demise of the coal industry.
The North Kyle Energy Project has attracted significant local support with its unique community benefit proposition and its promotion of local decision making and community empowerment through supporting the formation and development of the 9CCG, an exciting community group representing the nine local community council areas.
Alex Lambie, Chief Executive of Brockwell Energy, commented: “We really are delighted with the decision of Scottish Ministers to grant consent.
“The decision follows a lengthy, detailed and thorough design and planning process, which has seen great care being taken to minimise the impacts of the scheme and maximise the benefits that flow from its development.
“With consent secured, our focus now turns to commencing the detailed site investigation works and moving the project forwards towards realisation.”
Sale of Broken Cross Wind Farm14 October 2021
Brockwell Energy are pleased to announce the sale of Broken Cross Wind Farm Limited to BayWa r.e., a global renewable energy developer, service provider and distributor.
The Broken Cross wind scheme is a ten turbine, 48MW project located on a former coal mining site next to Coalburn in South Lanarkshire, close the 45MW Dalquhandy scheme that Brockwell developed and sold to BayWa r.e. in May 2020.
The sale follows an extensive re-design of the project to increase tip-heights to allow it to be deliverable without subsidy.
The Broken Cross site itself has been through an impressive transformation under Hargreaves’ ownership. Previously a coal mine, Hargreaves purchased the land from the liquidators of Scottish Coal in 2013 in a derelict state with significant restoration challenges. Working with South Lanarkshire Council, over the last eight years, Hargreaves have developed and delivered a site wide restoration scheme paving the way for the wind scheme and other industrial and agricultural uses.
Brockwell remains committed to the development of onshore wind capacity and the sale will enable the Company to further step up its project development and site finding activity
Alex Lambie, Chief Executive of Brockwell Energy: “We are delighted to complete a second transaction with BayWa r.e. that highlights the quality and value of the project we have developed at Broken Cross. The transaction proceeds will be reinvested to further expand our development activities at other sites and projects as we strive to deliver more projects to help achieve climate change goals. It has been a pleasure to work with BayWa r.e.on these transactions and I know they share our culture and values and will treat surrounding communities with respect and will build out the project with care and attention to all local stakeholders. We will continue to be available to provide any support required to successfully deliver the project and see this formerly derelict mine site put into use that benefits all.”
Gordon MacDougall, Managing Director, BayWa r.e. UK and Ireland: “Broken Cross is another high quality project delivered by Brockwell Energy. We’re thrilled to add this new project to our growing UK portfolio of renewable energy generation sites and to continue to build on the impressive land restoration that has taken place here. We look forward to starting on site, alongside our growing portfolio in Scotland and the UK as a whole. The opportunity for wind energy generation here is expanding, and we’re excited to be part this, helping local communities to also benefit from the opportunity.”
Brockwell Energy Celebrate Colleagues’ Achievements10 September 2021
Neil Young, Brockwell Energy’s Technical Director, is delighted to reveal two new major achievements for colleagues Gavin Miller and Emma Farrell.
“Our company ethos has and will continue to include nurturing and developing talent within the organisation,” he says. “We highly value our extended family of employees and actively encourage professional and personal development. This is why Brockwell Energy invest heavily in structured personal development plans, training programmes and sponsor fantastic opportunities to upskill our team.
“Today we’re proud to announce our latest sponsorship has seen Gavin and Emma achieve important milestones.”
Congratulations, Gavin Miller!
Gavin, who is Brockwell’s SHEQA Manager, has secured an NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety.
Trusted by many prestigious organisations – such as Orsted, Balfour Beatty and Mott MacDonald – this gold standard in health and safety can help minimise workplace injuries and illness, boost employee wellbeing and demonstrate a commitment to health and safety.
Gavin says: “We encourage professional development in all our staff, from director levels to graduates, so I was delighted to achieve the NEBOSH General Certificate. This supports my role in corporate SHEQA oversight and the mentoring of my colleagues and stakeholders in best practice.
“Compliance with legislation and the safety of our staff and contractors is of the utmost importance to our business. Experience and adaptability are important but we also need to ensure we continue to develop as professionals.
“I’m responsible for ensuring we have a robust management system in place to ensure we comply with the legislation and best practice for our industry. Following our achievement of certification to ISO 9001, ISO 45001 and ISO 14001, I felt it was time to make sure I refreshed myself with current, up-to-date training on health and safety.”
Congratulations, Emma Farrell!
Emma, whose current role within Brockwell is Administration Officer, has achieved an HNC in Accounting. This covers a wide range of accounting concepts and provides an excellent grounding in the principles of financial and management accounting.
“When I applied to college to study the HNC I thought it would be something I could manage, as I’d previously completed part time education courses,” Emma says. “However, from the get-go it was tough work and involved working full time then going to classes twice a week in the evenings.
“When COVID-19 struck during the second part of my first year we all had to adjust to home learning in the evenings and it became even tougher. However, the support of the tutors was second to none at Forth Valley College. We got through it and I’m very grateful for all of the support given by each of them.
“I’m grateful, too, for the support given by Brockwell – not only to put me through this course but also for giving me the time to study and complete my exams. It was a tough two years so I feel extremely proud that I managed to gain an A grade in my final exam.
“I hope I’ll be able to continue utilising the qualification now within my role at Brockwell Energy.”
New service launched to connect local people with wind energy & construction jobs24 June 2021
New service launched to connect local people with wind energy and construction projects
A new initiative has been launched which will connect suppliers and job seekers with local opportunities at wind energy and construction projects in the New Cumnock area.
Managed by the New Cumnock Development Trust (NCDT), the New Cumnock Local Jobs and Business Register will allow local businesses and individuals to register for updates from projects.
Wind energy and construction projects will be able to keep local people and businesses updated on new opportunities, including job vacancies, procurement openings and tendering processes.
The vision is to create a resource that helps create and sustain opportunities for job seekers, suppliers, developers and communities across East Ayrshire and surrounding areas. It also aims to help the wider community benefit from the local economic boost created from wind energy and similar projects nearby.
The website will list the projects that have signed up to the free service, which is available for businesses and job seekers. It is available for businesses of all types, provided they employ local staff and bring direct benefit to local communities.
The NCDT, in partnership with Brockwell Energy, developed the Register in response to the current social restrictions and economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Register will be administered by NCDT through donations from Brockwell Energy and other supporting developers.
The project has already attracted support from other developers and contractors such as REG Greenburn Limited and RJ McLeod, one of Scotland’s leading construction contractors.
Susan Kerr, Chair of NCDT said: “We at NCDT are incredibly excited about the launch of the New Cumnock Local Jobs and Business Register and believe it will act as an important resource in supporting the local community and manage opportunities open to the region.
“Coal sustained many of the communities around the New Cumnock wind cluster in the past, and now onshore wind is stepping in to replace coal as a national energy source. While the new projects will not provide the scale of employment opportunities that the coal industry did, efforts should be made to maximise the value that these schemes bring to communities, whenever that is practical.
“The Register is seeking to highlight opportunities, help make connections and publicise these successes when contracts or jobs are placed locally.”
Iain Cockburn, Director at Brockwell Energy said: “We have been pleased to work on this initiative with NCDT. Like most other developers, we are keen that our projects utilise as much local labour and business resources as possible.
“Commitments to this effect are made in the planning process, but there is often limited reporting afterwards of what does happen. This resource will help developers demonstrate the value they actually deliver and encourage and help local job seekers and businesses to position themselves for the opportunities that do arise. Together with REG Greenburn Limited and RJ McLeod, both of whom have a strong track record of local engagement, we are pleased to support this initiative and hope it does encourage more local procurement and recruitment.
“Although specialist skills and large main contractors are often required, local businesses and job seekers should be ideally placed to support many aspects of these projects. What is needed is a focus to make sure connections are made.
“Typically, jobs fairs and Meet-the-Buyer events are held to help source the skills and services needed to deliver infrastructure projects. Hosting these events in the future may be more challenging due to restrictions on public gatherings, so the New Cumnock Local Jobs and Business Register has been developed to help promote these connections.
“We are also keen for other developers to support the scheme and sign up to ensure the Register becomes a valuable resource for the community.”
To find out more, please visit: www.ncbusinessregister.co.uk
Brockwell Unveil Plans for Fife Energy Recovery Facility12 April 2021
Brockwell Energy have announced the award for the construction of a circa 240k-tonne Energy Recovery Facility in Fife. The Edinburgh-based renewable energy developer also revealed the plans for the fully consented, state-of-the-art plant will include a long-term operations and maintenance agreement.
CEO Alex Lambie said: “Brockwell Energy Limited (BEL) are delighted to confirm we have agreed key terms and entered into exclusivity with Hitachi Zosen Innova (HZI) as preferred bidder for the construction of our Westfield Energy Recovery Facility Limited (WERL) in Fife.
“HZI will also provide operations and maintenance services to WERL under a long-term service agreement.
“Representatives from both organisations will work together over the coming weeks to finalise the suite of documents for lender technical and legal diligence in preparation for an efficient run to financial close.”
Construction of the facility will begin this summer and it’s anticipated the plant will be operational as soon as 2024. Fuel supply negotiations with Cireco our principal supplier are finalized, hence we will continue to collaborate and develop our procurement strategy over the coming weeks and months.
A Milestone Moment
Neil Young, BEL’s Technical and Operations Director, commented: “This is a significant milestone for the project and the fact it’s being undertaken by such a world renowned, highly experienced and successful construction and operations partner further supports our confidence that the project will be succesfully delivered on time and to the highest quality standards.
“The state of-the-art plant will utilise well proven moving grate technology and will assist in meeting Scottish Government’s environmental and legislative targets, providing much needed capacity to the Scottish market in advance of the Landfill ban being implemented in 2025.”
The construction of WERL will be the cornerstone of the long-awaited re-development on the Westfield site, a former open cast coal mine west of Glenrothes in Fife where BEL are also planning to construct a 30MW solar energy facility. The projects are designed to be capable of providing renewable heat and power to support attracting other businesses to locate and invest in the wider site.
HZI, who are based in Switzerland and are a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hitachi Zosen Corporation, specialise in the design, construction, operation and maintenance of Energy-from-Waste (EfW) plants worldwide.
Planning Permission secured for 30MW Solar and 20MW Battery Storage at Westfield, Fife12 February 2021
Brockwell Energy are pleased to announce that Fife Council have approved its planning application for the detailed design of a ground-mounted solar project supported by batteries at the Westfield site near Kinglassie.
The consent, which was granted on 12 February 2021, permits the development of up to 30MW of solar generation linked to up to 20MW of battery storage. The combination of the battery and solar capacity allows the a proportion of renewable energy produced by the solar to be stored and exported when most required by the grid.
The proposed solar development is consistent with the approved masterplan for the former surface mining site and will contribute towards the strategy of developing Westfield as a green industrial park. The development and regeneration of the site will be enhanced and supported by the availability of on-site renewable energy.
Alex Lambie, CEO of Brockwell Energy commented “This is a an exciting opportunity to generate renewable energy utilising land at the former mining site that is not suitable either for agriculture or commercial use. The proposed solar capacity will be enhanced with battery capacity which will complement the planned flag-ship energy-from-waste plant in helping drive the re-development and regeneration of the broader site.”