Re:heat Uist Asco

re:heat are proud to be working for Uist Asco, a company with a unique application for a woodchip boiler on the island of North Uist in the Outer Hebrides.  Uist Asco Limited are named after Ascophyllum Nodosum, the seaweed which they process and dry using heat from their 999kW Binder woodchip boiler.  The dried seaweed is sold as organic fertiliser, animal feed, alginate and for further refining into chemical products.

Trees are in short supply in the Outer Hebrides, but the MacIain family, who have developed the drying plant, have 720 hectares of coniferous plantation on North Uist.  It’s this timber, which has no competing markets on the island, which provides the sustainable source of fuel for the woodchip boiler.  As well as creating jobs in the management and harvesting of the trees, and in the drying plant, the project will create around 15 jobs in the resurrection of the traditional industry of seaweed harvesting.

re:heat have been involved with the project from the outset, and have provided a range of services to Uist Asco, ranging from the design of the fuel store and boiler plant layout, to running a tender exercise for the supply of the equipment, and then project managing the final design and installation of the entire system.

The Uist Asco plant features a 999kW Binder step-grate boiler, capable of burning fuel of up to 55% moisture content – the same as a freshly felled tree.  The extremely robust nature of Binder boilers, which are designed for heavy-duty space heating and process heat loads, means that it’s ideally suited to this demanding application.  The hydraulic ram-feed system can deal with fuel which is way beyond the capabilities of 99% of other boilers, and the ability to cope with fuel with a 7% ash content means that very low grade brash and banchwood material recovered from forest operations can be effectively utilised.