A new steam turbine has been installed at a combined heat and power (CHP) plant serving a chemicals manufacturing facility in the UK.

Tata Chemicals Europe announced this week that the £5.5 million ($7.1 million) turbine has been inaugurated at its plant in Northwich, Cheshire.

The opening represents the completion of a two-year project backed by a £2.5 million grant from the European Regional Growth Fund.  Tata said the plant will provide around 12 MW for its sites across Cheshire as well as local businesses.

The high-pressure steam used is a by-product of industrial processes at the chemical plant, captured by heat recovery boilers, Tata added.

E.ON, described as a strategic partner in the turbine’s installation and the management of the CHP plant, was also given credit for the project’s success.

According to Tata, the project will improve its standing under the UK’s Combined Heat & Power Quality Assurance (CHPQA) scheme, giving a boost to the plant’s overall energy efficiency score.

Martin Ashcroft (pictured, left), Managing Director of Tata Chemicals Europe, said installing the steam turbine ‘was one of our key objectives for the past three years’, and that it is ‘fundamental to the ongoing success of our Northwich operations’.

Mike Wake, Head of Business Heat and Power Solutions at E.ON, added: ‘Taking advantage of heat energy as steam and using it more effectively means we can help reduce this site’s carbon footprint whilst ensuring a chemical works which has been operating since 1874 continues to go from strength to strength in such a commercially challenging time.’