Strong strategic partnerships with global and regional supply chain companies are boosting Lynemouth Power Station’s ability to provide maximum electricity output for UK homes and businesses during the Coronavirus outbreak.
Working collaboratively with key delivery partners locally as well as in the US and Canada, the power station is continuing operations as usual, albeit adhering to government guidelines, to ensure that the plant, now one of the largest importers of goods into the North East, is at the forefront of providing renewable energy to frontline organisations throughout the crisis.
This includes, on a regional level, working closely with the Port of Tyne to ensure sufficient biomass wood pellets come into the UK to meet requirements, equating to approximately 30,000 tonnes every week.
LPL’s international supply chain, part of the power station’s conversion from fossil fuel to biomass electricity generation of which the plant is in the latter stages of completion, supports many local jobs and contributes significantly the region’s economy on an annual basis.
This huge operation is further underpinned by a network of specialist, ‘on-the-ground’ supply chain organisations regionally. Companies including Hargreaves, Socotec, Casper Shipping and GB Railfreight are responsible for the ship’s unloading, safe fuel handling and transportation of the biomass to Lynemouth Power Station by rail, again creating much needed local employment for many people off-site.
Managing Director of Lynemouth Power Station, Carl Hopper, explained, “Collectively, all of our delivery partners play a significant part in the overall energy production process. Every one of them ensures that Lynemouth Power Station, part of a critical industry, can operate efficiently and with a ‘business as usual’ approach wherever possible despite the challenges the country now faces as a whole.
“Generating electricity is a highly coordinated, multi-faceted, global operation which also supports many local businesses too. Therefore, as long as we have the free movement of goods coming into our ports, in our case, through the Port of Tyne, we can not only generate essential energy supplies for the UK but also go some way to help protect the local and national economy when it is being rocked.
“This is very much a team effort by the whole LPL supply chain worldwide as well as our tremendous workforce who are now classed as key workers. We have implemented social distancing measures alongside the required, strict health and safety standards, and we’re very grateful to our partner companies for their continued support. We are in constant dialogue with them all so that we can all play a significant role in keeping the country’s lights on.”
Lynemouth Power Station generates enough clean, renewable energy to power 450,000 homes and businesses. Electricity generation, ports, rail freight and the wood products industry have all been given ‘essential status’ by the UK Government with employees now regarded as key workers.
Matt Beeton, CEO at the Port of Tyne added, “At present, there are no restrictions regarding the movement of goods and therefore biomass materials to and from the port up to Lynemouth are still being transported as usual with minimal risk. The Port of Tyne plays a crucial role in supporting supply chains across the North East and the UK, and this is even more prevalent at the current time.
“It is essential, as best we can, to keep the economy moving despite the crisis that has unfolded, and the Port is looking at ways we can assist our import and export businesses further.
“We have a very close working partnership with Lynemouth Power Station and this has also led to investment in new facilities and employment opportunities at both sites. The Port is one of the largest handlers of wood pellets anywhere in Europe therefore we’re working side by side to support LPL in their operations as well as the Government in their efforts.”