The MCBO Blog

Containerised and Skid-Mounted Steam Boiler Plants

Boiler plants have always been the beating heart of industry, both for the working space and the processes within. These big, beautiful machines are vital to daily operations, but what happens when one fails, or it’s outgrown by the demands of the business it supports?

Repairs and upgrades, or completely new builds, are a necessary part of an operation's lifecycle but given their integral nature, the inevitable disruption from replacing or repairing a boiler plant can be costly and difficult to manage, even when planned. Furthermore, due to their general size, it’s usually impractical, if not impossible, to accommodate a second plant while the original is repaired, upgraded or replaced.

Enter the Packaged Boiler Plant, as made by H.A. McEwens. Packaged Boiler Plants (PBPs) are the ideal solution to disruption, downtime, and lack of space. Mainly fabricated in our workshop, we create complete boiler plants to the exact specifications of the client and fully test them before bringing them to the site, installing, testing and commissioning them with minimal disruption to site operations.

The compact nature of PBPs, self-contained and able to fit inside or be placed outside the building, allows them to be bought or hired as a temporary measure while works are carried out on the main plant. They are also increasingly being used as a long-term solution, due to their small size, low installation costs and resale value.

MCBO PBP Containerised Skid

A containerised plant (left) and a skid-mounted plant (right)

How do Packaged Boiler Plants work?

We offer two different boiler plant packages - Containerised and Skid-Mounted. Both are fabricated at our site and are designed to provide either a temporary boiler plant during repairs or upgrades or as a long-term solution where space is an issue. The majority of the work is done at our workshop, and we limit the onsite work to connecting the pipework, testing and commissioning, saving on a lot of installation costs. But when it comes to choosing the correct type of PBP for the situation, there are major differences to consider between them. 

The Containerised Boiler Plant

Enclosed entirely within a metal container, these have traditionally been used as a temporary measure when the in-house boiler plant is out of action. However, they are fast becoming a popular choice as a long-term solution, with the option for steam, hot water and biomass boilers available. Their ability to be placed anywhere on-site, with only connecting pipework to consider, and especially outside the buildings to make huge space savings makes them an excellent solution for both temporary and long-term operations.

MCBO PBP Design Build

A CAD design for a containerised plant (left) and building it at our workshop (right)

We survey the site to fully understand the requirements, design and build the complete unit within the container and then ship the complete package to the site, where we connect it to the pipework, test it and put it into operation. By working this way, we reduce disruption to daily operations, locate the units strategically to save on space, and significantly reduce installation costs.

Case Study: Healy’s Cider Farm

Located in Cornwall, Healey’s had expanded their production facility and outgrown their existing boiler plant. Initially contacted to install a new, larger plant, we instead were able to propose a container plant due to limited available space.

Read the Case Study

Skid-Mounted Boiler Plant

These compact boiler plants are an ideal solution for sites where space is at a premium. Available as a steam or hot water plant, we tailor-make them to specific requirements, manufacture them at our premises and then connect the pipework, test and commission the plant into operation on-site, meaning minimal disruption to site operations.

As they are mounted on easy-to-transport skids, they can be placed in areas that would otherwise be difficult for large containers so there is greater flexibility in positioning. They can also be quickly disconnected and removed when necessary.


Advantages of Packaged Boiler Plants

  • The compact size and ability to be placed outside save a lot of space
  • Off-site manufacturing minimises operational disruption and saves on installation costs
  • The flexible design allows for completely bespoke builds
  • Available to hire when not looking at a long-term solution
  • A saleable asset that retains value