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Grimsby and Scunthorpe firms win big on pioneering £58m Saltend wood chip plant

GRIMSBY engineering giant Engie Fabricom has been named as the principal contractor on a pioneering £58 million Humber project.

Grimsby and Scunthorpe firms win big on pioneering £58m Saltend wood chip plant

The Europarc-headuartered firm will deliver the design and build of a state-of-the-art wood chip plant, having been appointed as the main engineering, procurement and construction contractor by Tricoya Ventures UK Ltd.

It is to be built at Saltend Chemicals Park, and a total of 130 jobs will be created throughout the construction.

Described as using all of the company’s expertise and skill sets, a project team including process, procurement, mechanical, electrical, control and instrumentation, piping and civil discipline engineers, has based itself at the Engie Fabricom’s Immingham facility. Initial works are well underway with site establishment now complete, and drainage and levelling works ongoing.

Wichard Huigen, chief executive of Engie Fabricom, said: “We are delighted to secure this major contract which allows Engie Fabricom to demonstrate our expertise and experience in both engineering and construction projects. 

“This is a significant step forward for us and will in turn enable us to further develop our engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) capabilities.

“This development provides a substantial boost to the region and Engie Fabricom is thrilled to be part of this major investment. The project will have a positive effect in regards to job creation throughout the build, and as such we have already strengthened our resource pool of highly respected and talented engineers. 

“We look forward to continuing our relationship with the Tricoya team and to further establishing ourselves as the partner of choice within the EPC market.”

A first of its kind in the world, the facility will manufacture acetylated wood chips, which will be used to make ultra-durable, non-toxic MDF panels, which, unlike traditional MDF panels, can be used for external construction. It has been said that it could revolutionise architecture globally. 

It was launched in Las Vegas this summer, and is being promoted at more than a dozen trade show this year.

Water and microbe damage, which can lead to swelling and rot, means decorative MDF panels are traditionally limited to interior furniture, but molecular changes delivered by it would remove that barrier to use.

It means they could then be employed in applications formerly limited to products such as concrete, plastics or metals, with the potential large-scale expansion already talked up at project launch.

Front end engineering and design verification has already been completed, with the detailed design and engineering stages currently underway.  

Mr Huigen said Engie Fabricom will primarily self-perform the project, encompassing all stages of the development from engineering and design, procurement of the plant’s main equipment, through to the construction, testing and commissioning.  

Engie has appointed Scunthorpe’s Clugston Construction to provide collaborative support and undertake the civil engineering aspect of the project.  

This extensive project is due to be completed in spring 2019 and once operational, the plant will create about 30 full time jobs. Engie Fabricom’s Dutch team is already working on an expansion project for Accsys in Arnhem, pictured below.

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