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Spirax Sarco shows ‘commitment to quality’ in £1.5m boiler house project

Spirax Sarco has completed the handover of a £1.5 million turnkey boiler house project as part of an innovative £4.3 million waste-to-energy plant at Davyhulme in Manchester. Owned by United Utilities, the plant uses sewage to supply gas for a combined heat and power plant. It recycles the waste heat from electricity generation to produce steam in the boiler house that can then be used in the process. This plant will eventually generate enough energy to offset the electrical power needs of Davyhulme, one of Europe’s largest wastewater treatment facilities.

The main design and build contractor for the overall Davyhulme project is Black & Veatch, and the company wanted to hand over the steam systems to a reliable supplier. “We usually go to at least three suppliers for a project of this size. In this case we needed a lot of guarantees from down the supply chain to meet quality assurances and project deadlines,” says project manager John Thornton. “Overall, Spirax Sarco provided the best commercial and technical offer, including the guarantees we were looking for.”

The scope of the contract included three boilers, two boiler feedtanks and a comprehensive water treatment system. It also included all the associated controls to enable the boilerhouse to run unmanned and maximise energy efficiency, such as automatic TDS and bottom blowdown systems.

Design started in 2009 and deliveries began early in 2010. Spirax Sarco finished the installation by the end of 2011 and commissioning was completed in February 2012. Spirax Sarco also provided training for United Utilities engineers at its dedicated training centre in Cheltenham.

Black & Veatch carried out comprehensive operational and performance testing with the client over a 28-day period; these were successfully completed in March 2014. Although the performance tests were very challenging the performance requirements and guarantees were all successfully achieved at the first attempt.

In 2013, the Davyhulme plant won the Energy Award at the IChemE awards, with United Utilities and Black & Veatch named as joint winners. The Energy Award recognises innovation in renewable energy, alternative energy sources, efficient energy use or the development of energy production methods that reduce energy and water intensity.

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Spirax Sarco is a leading provider of steam and thermal energy solutions headquartered in the UK

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