Huge Biomass Incinerator Gets Go-ahead in Scotland

Huge Biomass Incinerator Gets Go-ahead in Scotland

June 3, 2013. Source: The Herald Scotland

Scotland's largest combined heat and power biomass plant has been given the go-ahead by the Scottish Government.

Planning consent was granted for the £465 million development which, when finished, should have the capacity to continuously heat the equivalent of 1,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools. The wood-fuelled plant is being developed by Forth Energy, a joint venture between Forth Ports and SSE.

When completed it is expected to generate up to 120 megawatts (MW) of electricity, said to be enough to meet the needs of 92% of the Falkirk Council area. It will be built on an 18-hectacre site at Grangemouth port. Construction will begin after a year of design and engineering work.

With building work expected to last three years, it could start generating heat and electricity by 2017. Up to 500 jobs will be created in the building of the plant, with a further 70 permanent jobs once complete. When operational it will supply electricity to the national grid and heat to industrial users, helping reduce their carbon emissions.

Forth Energy managing director Calum Wilson said: "We share the Scottish Government's objective of providing renewable, reliable and responsible heat and electricity for Scotland and we are delighted that the ministers have approved this ambitious project. "This consent creates the opportunity for us to develop a combined heat and power plant that will generate low-carbon renewable electricity and heat from wood fuel shipped to the plant, whilst delivering significant benefits to the Grangemouth economy.

"We will now examine the details of the decision and look forward to engaging with the Scottish Government, Falkirk Council and the local community to take our plans forward." Wood fuel for the plant will come from overseas by ship. It is said that planning conditions should ensure the wood comes from sustainable sources, with other conditions imposed to protect the environment and local air quality.

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: "The construction of the combined heat and power plant at the Port of Grangemouth will create up to 500 jobs during construction and 70 permanent jobs, as well as generating up to 120MW of renewable electricity and 200MWth (megawatt thermal) of renewable heat for local business and industry.

"In consenting this application I have put in place a series of conditions to protect local residents from inconvenience, safeguard the appearance of the area and protect the environment and air quality. The conditions to the consent also ensure that the fuel used in the biomass is from sustainable and responsible sources."