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Tata Chemicals Europe secures five -year agreement with E.ON

Tata Chemicals Europe (TCE) has signed a new long term operations and maintenance agreement with E.ON for the company’s combined heat and power (CHP) plant at TCE’s Winnington site.

The highly efficient CHP plant generates 96MW of electricity and up to 400MW of heat in the form of steam for use by TCE to produce soda ash and sodium bicarbonate in Northwich, Cheshire. The CHP also provides heat and electricity to local industrial users and supplies electricity to the local distribution network for use by consumers and businesses as well as supporting the wider UK electricity system. 

The five-year agreement marks the continuation of a successful collaboration between the parties, first established in 2000 when E.ON built the CHP plant for TCE under an own and operate arrangement. In 2013, TCE acquired the plant from E.ON, who continue to operate and maintain on TCE’s behalf.

The partnership is built upon achieving the lowest whole-life cost of operating the plant whilst delivering the energy required to operate TCE’s chemical manufacturing processes. With energy markets becoming increasingly volatile and numerous potential regulatory changes presenting challenging headwinds, cost control and plant reliability are critical. The multi-million pound annual operating costs are influenced by maintenance decisions made collaboratively, having a long-term partner means both parties have aligned objectives. 

The arrangement draws on the unique skills of both parties, with E.ON’s Business Heat and Power specialists bringing a wealth of CHP plant operational, safety, health and regulatory expertise. TCE provides E.ON with clear operational requirements for the inputs needed for the chemical manufacturing processes and manages the commercial aspects of gas purchasing and sales of electricity and steam to local industries and to the national grid. TCE has also embarked upon a digital transformation in its energy business to maximise productivity and to ensure the CHP is agile and able to respond quickly to grid events.

The scope of services provided by E.ON means that they are responsible for the 24/7 operation and maintenance of the plant, the safety of the 30+ E.ON operatives and the environmental performance of the plant. 

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