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Report - Westfield Development Centre, Fife - April 2012

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by BenCooper, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. BenCooper

    BenCooper Mr Boombastic
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    Built in 1961, the British Gas Westfield Development Centre was a gasification plant to produce gas from coal - up until 1974 it was producing 20% of Scotland's gas.

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    The plant used four Lurgi gasifiers - the idea was to secure gas supplies for when North Sea gas ran out, which would have been a brilliant theory if almost all the coal mines had not also been shut down. Nevertheless, after spending about £1bn in today's terms, the process was pronounced a resounding success in 1991, and shut down in 1992.

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    A more modern test gasification plant was also built, as was a 120MW Combined Cycle Gas Turbine built in 1992 by Global Energy, who bought the site.

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    The plant was bought by Scottish & Southern Energy in 2003 who operated the power station (using piped-in gas) until March 2011.

    First, I had a look at the boiler house - I'm a little unclear on the exact process, but I think this was to produce "process heat" (i.e. lots of steam) for the gasification process, and it contains three coal-fired boilers.

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    Up at the top, a coal conveyor:

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    The roof, with views of the chimney:

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    Next the gasification plant:

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    Reached via the steep conveyors:

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    The whole place is ankle-deep in pigeon poo - ironically right next door is a cutting-edge biomass power station which runs on chicken poo. If they popped over with some wheelbarrows, there's a good few kW in here.

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    The top of the gasification building, where hoppers feed in the coal:

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    To a lab:

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    And the control room:

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    Down and out for some outisde views:

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    To be continued...
     
    #1 BenCooper, Apr 17, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012

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