Liquidation for biomass-gasification plant operator

UK: Administrators have been appointed to company “operating and maintaining” 21MWe facility

The plant, image copyright Solar 21
The plant, image copyright Solar 21

Biomass-plant operator HRS Energy Tansterne is in serious financial difficulties after it emerged it was heading for voluntary liquidation. 

Insolvency practitioners RSM Restructuring Advisory has sent letters to creditors of the firm, which Companies House records confirm was only incorporated in 2017 and was involved in running and looking after a biomass-gasification plant in Hull. 

A spokesperson for RSM told ENDS: "HRS Energy Tansterne provided operating and maintenance services in respect of the Tansterne Advanced Biomass Plant. On 4 September the company handed control of the site to its client, GB-Bio Ltd. On 10 September, all 27 of the members of staff employed by the company were made redundant.

"The company has instructed insolvency practitioners from RSM to assist in respect of convening a member’s meeting and creditors’ decision procedure for the purpose of placing the company into liquidation, which is scheduled to take place on Friday 27 September."

ENDS understands the plant was construction complete in March 2017 and was fully commissioned in February 2018. Ireland-based Solar 21 told ENDS in 2016 it had taken over the development

Previously, it was being taken forward by GB Bio and began construction in October of 2016. However, an RSM spokesperson said GB Bio is now back in charge of the facility. 

An environmental permit was issued in November 2017. It explained the facility would have the capacity to export 21MWe and process up to 257,120 tonnes per year of biomass using a twin line, fluidised bed gasification system with a maximum throughput of about 16 tonnes per hour per line.

Despite the permit allowing up to 257,120, it is understood the plant currently processes up to 150,000t/yr.

The facility, which is also capable of producing heat, can process not only straw but also virgin and waste wood plus miscanthus after a planning restriction limiting it to straw alone was overturned. 

According to its latest financial statement, made in September 2018, HRS had assets of only £6,721, cash in the bank totalling £162,674 and debts of £274,493.

ENDS was told previously that the plant had qualified for the UK government’s Renewable Obligations certificates under the Renewables Obligation  scheme, which required facilities to be operational – even if that was just firing on oil – by 30 September 2018.

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