On the late evening of 16th February the fire services were called out to a fire in the secondary crusher building as a fire had started on a stationery conveyor belt. The swift response from the fire service saved the fire spreading but did put the secondary crusher out of action.
On the morning of the 17th the Fibre Supply Team of Steve Bradley and Shirley Smith were alerted to the issue. With no means of getting ‘screened and clean‘ material directly into the A Barn the CHP plant had to be turned down to 50% of capacity, resulting in a huge loss in the electricity production through the turbine.
Some quick thinking and a heavy dose of ‘Working Together‘ was required to solve the problem, due to the operations system of the A Barn – simply feeding a product through the doors was not an option plus we had to identify ‘clean‘ products.
With collaboration from UPM it was agreed to remove some of the higher side panels on the building to allow a mobile chipper to blow fuelwood chips direct into the barn.
By 14.00 hrs on the same day the Fibre Supply Team had sourced an Albach Chipper from TPH, Thompson Plant Hire that was was immediately transported to site, set up and commenced with providing fuel into the A Barn once more.
TPH have worked closely with Fibre Supply for the last 10 years providing a yard service down at the Shotton Mill CHP plant on a daily basis and chipping at UPM Caledonian during sawmill holiday periods.
It was quickly agreed that what we had in place was a workable solution so the next task was to find operators to work the chipper 24/7 which would enable the plant to ramp up the production of electricity back up to almost 100%.
So now to the final part of ‘Working Together‘ and this is where the harvesting team from Tilhill enter the arena. Coming off the back of the worst spell of winter weather for a good few years we had been using most of the accessible fuelwood stocks in the forests meaning we were suffering from low stocks, this created some nerves regarding how to supply the 24/7 working.
Again those words ‘Working Together‘ were required as the hauliers went the extra mile and some material was delivered by sea along with using all our winter stock at the off site holding area.
To summarise, from a standing start on the Wednesday morning until Saturday morning working around the clock 4700 tonnes of fuelwood had been sourced, delivered and chipped direct into the A Barn, this enabled the Boiler to operate through the weekend as normal to produce electricity.
Truly a good result which would not have been achievable if it was not for the considerable experience and ‘Working Together‘ by all the parties mentioned above.