IRFT Project 300 200 Technica Ltd

IRFT Project


Local engineering firm works on world’s largest biomass handling facility

Grimsby-based engineering design firm, Technica, has provided functional safety design and instrumentation design and emergency shutdown for the Immingham Renewable Fuels Terminal (IRFT), the world’s largest dedicated biomass handling facility.

The prestigious renewable fuel handling project also saw Technica, on behalf of client Associated British Ports (ABP), deliver the design, manufacture, configuration and site commissioning of the emergency shutdown and terminal control systems.

Explains John Davison, Managing Director at Technica: “The IRFT facility uses ABP’s bespoke continuous ship unloaders to offload wood pellets from vessels on to a conveyor system which moves the pellets through the facility into one of four storage silos, each capable of holding 25,000 tonnes of biomass, and onward to a train loading facility. The biomass is then loaded onto trains for transport to Drax power station.”

Continues John: “ABP, via principal contractor Graham Construction commissioned us to provide a range of design and engineering services for the facility including detailed design and equipment specification, third party interfaces such as HV and LV drives, as well as control and instrumentation and support with commissioning the facility and detailed training for operatives.

“In addition, we were asked to contribute to the various multidiscipline and vendor design reviews such as HAZOP, a hazard and operability study and LoPA, a risk assessment method used to determine and demonstrate the ability of existing and proposed safeguards.

“We were also responsible for functional safety at the facility, a task that saw us carry out extensive safety requirement specification and safety integrity level calculations. As part of this, we designed, built and implemented software configuration for the site’s integral emergency shutdown and terminal control systems.”

Mark Hennessy, Deputy Engineering Manager at ABP, added: “At every stage of the project, Technica displayed the commitment, knowledge and detailed planning we required to get the work done on time and to a high standard. I was highly impressed with the professionalism the team demonstrated throughout.”

Concludes John: “As a result of the successful completion of the IRFT project, we were selected to provide the same services and emergency shutdown and terminal control systems for an expansion of ABP’s facility to incorporate a further four storage silos and a second rail load out facility.”