Operating since 2004 and expanded in 2009, VPI Immingham is a combined heat and power (CHP) plant near Immingham, on the South Bank of the river Humber.
It is one of the largest CHP plants in Europe, capable of generating 1,240 MW – about 2.5% of UK peak electricity demand and up to 930 tonnes of steam per hour.
The steam is used by nearby Humber and Lindsey oil refineries which represent 25% of the UK’s refining capacity. At full capacity, it saves 2.5 million tonnes of CO2 per annum compared with a conventional coal plant of the same size.
VPI Immingham burns gas in large turbines, which have an output 11 times larger than a jumbo jet engine. The heat is exhausted at 640 degrees C from the gas turbines and it travels straight into large boilers. These use the heat to produce high pressure steam which is piped to the refinery. Additional burners allow surplus refinery gas, that might have otherwise been flared to the atmosphere, to be burnt efficiently in the boiler.