TWO new boilers have been fired up for the first time at British Salt in Middlewich as part of an £8 million project.

It comes almost 12 months since the town stopped to watch a giant convoy of two 90-tonne boilers being carefully moved through the streets towards Cledford Lane.

Northwich Guardian:

The boilers were brought to Middlewich last November

Likened to a heart transplant operation by project manager Stewart Prentice, the boilers are the beating heart of British Salt’s manufacturing process, providing steam used to generate electricity to power the site and the heat required for the salt making process.

And the project has been taking place with the backdrop of Covid-19, as a team of 20 contractors from Cheshire and Merseyside worked safely throughout the year to complete the project, in what is the biggest investment made in the site for more than 50 years.

Ladan Iravanian, projects director, said: “2020 has been a really challenging year to deliver projects as the pandemic has disrupted normally stable supply chains and meant we’ve had to find new ways of working.

“Despite this, our project team and our contractors have worked extremely hard to ensure we deliver this major investment.

“It’s great to see the testing of the new boiler plant kick-off and we’re excited to integrate the new plant into our existing manufacturing operations.”

The new boilers replace those installed when the site was first built in 1969, and they come with a highly-automated, state-of-the-art control system.

Northwich Guardian:

The boilers delivered at Cledford Lane

Far more energy efficient, they will lower emissions from the plant below current and future regulatory standards, producing less than half the nitrogen oxide emissions of the old boilers and reducing the site’s carbon footprint.

Steam production is now being tested on the new boilers, before they are built up to full operation, when the old plant will be put on standby for a period of time to provide back-up.

With an operational life of 30 years, British Salt owner Tata Chemicals Europe says the new boilers have secured the future of salt production in the area for the foreseeable future, supporting hundreds of local jobs.

The company is now working on plans for further investment into its Middlewich site, as demand for high-purity salt products continues to be strong from customers across the world.

Northwich Guardian:

The boilers were fired up for the first time this week

The story does not end there though as Tata Chemicals Europe and British Salt are working on plans for further exciting investments in the plant as demand for high purity salt products continues to be strong from customers across the world.

Ladan added: “We are now looking to the future again and considering how we can how we can invest in our British Salt operations to meet global demand for our high quality, high purity salt products.”