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MEMBER PRESS RELEASE – Finning helps Briar Chemicals self-generate nearly 80% of site power demands with hydrogen-ready, combined heat and power (CHP) unit
Contract chemical manufacturer Briar Chemicals was looking for a more efficient way to source energy for its facility in Norwich. Turning to Inspec Systems and Finning UK & Ireland, the world’s largest dealer of Cat® equipment and parts, Briar can now benefit from a low emission energy CHP system that provides the majority of its power needs and will be upgraded to run on a blend of Hydrogen, once the UK Government rolls out their UK hydrogen strategy and blends green or blue hydrogen in or alongside, the natural gas network.
Given the energy intensive nature of chemicals manufacturing, power costs are a significant expenditure for Briar Chemicals. With continued high energy prices, the company enlisted design engineers; Inspec Systems to help them explore alternatives for the replacement of the old, redundant, inefficient and unreliable gas turbine CHP which failed to meet current and future MCP directives and so to avoid the conventional solution of sourcing power from the grid.
This would be no simple task given both the complexity of Briar’s operations and also the critical need for grid-level reliability if expensive manufacturing delays were to be avoided.
Iain Sinclair, Procurement Manager at Briar Chemicals, said: “We recognised that it was time to look at cheaper and more environmentally friendly ways of generating power. But this would only be viable if a solution could be found that did not impact on our productivity.”
Inspec Systems identified that the construction of a new reciprocating engine CHP system would provide Briar with the low emission energy it needed, whilst being MCPD compliant and enlisted Finning to help conduct feasibility studies on the best configuration and Best Available Technique (BAT). This required detailed analysis and assessment of the site’s heating and power demand to ensure not only reliability but also efficiency and therefore the maximum possible energy savings.
Scott Tamplin, Sales Manager at Finning explains: “Sizing CHP is a complex balance of understanding bespoke site characteristics for power consumption, heat utilisation, heat temperatures and pressures, whilst trying to configure a system that is not only compatible for the site with simple, non-invasive interfaces, but delivers sustainability and integrity whilst maintaining resilience of services for the factory production team.”
This feasibility process allowed Finning and Inspec Systems to specify the CHP generator details fuelled by low carbon natural gas which would provide Briar with 2MWe of low carbon electricity and steam. To achieve this the generator was installed into a bespoke acoustically controlled container to manage noise levels, as well as being fitted with an 18 bar steam raising boiler connected to the CHP’s exhaust system. Heat from the engine jacket was also captured and fed into the boiler feedwater system, which also increased the overall CHP coefficient of performance (COP) efficiencies to meet stringent CHP quality assurance measurements and financial incentives.
The Finning team is working closely with Briar to develop a bespoke service and maintenance agreement to extend equipment life and maximise the investment. Briar is now able to generate around 80% of its energy needs from the CHP system, offsetting the more expensive energy it takes from the grid.
Iain Sinclair concludes: “We were very impressed with the rigour shown by Finning in helping to precisely find the right generator for our needs. We are now able to benefit from a highly efficient CHP system that means we have significantly lowered our environmental footprint and energy bills and have the peace of mind that this is backed by expert support from Finning when needed.”
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About Finning UK & Ireland
Finning UK & Ireland is part of Finning International – the world’s largest dealer of Cat® machines, engines, equipment, and power solutions. Finning has a recognised record in delivering solutions to a diverse range of industries including mining, quarrying, building and construction, marine, power generation, industrial OEM and oil and gas.
Whether new or used equipment, high volume repeat orders or custom-built packages, the solutions Finning supplies have been tried, tested, and proven in installations around the world. With a broad product support infrastructure and unmatched service capabilities, Finning delivers solutions that enable customers to achieve the lowest equipment owning and operating costs while maximising uptime.
Headquartered in Cannock, Staffordshire, Finning has a network of branches across the UK & Ireland with trained specialists on hand to provide the right solution for companies.