Go-ahead given for 65mW biomass powerplant in UK

Permission to build a 65mW biomass power plant in the north east of the UK has been granted to Helius Energy, by the Department of Energy. The power station is, says the company, the first phase of an integrated bioenergy development on a 36 hectare site 4km from the port of Immingham.

The new plant will, says Helius Energy, produce enough renewable electricity for around 100,000 homes, and will save approximately 450,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year compared with a similarly sized coal-fired power station. Options to use the heat produced by the plant either on site or locally are also being considered.

"This consent allows Helius Energy to begin to implement our plans for the production of renewable electricity from sustainable biomass", said John Seed, Managing Director of Helius Energy. "Now that we have been granted consent by the Secretary of State we look forward to working closely with North East Lincolnshire Council to bring this project to completion."

In a statement issued Tuesday, Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks said: "This is another stepping stone towards powering a greener, cleaner UK. Not only does it help tackle climate change and increase secure supplies of energy, but the building and running of this biomass plant will also provide jobs in Lincolnshire.

"This announcement takes us closer to achieving our proposed renewable energy targets. We have doubled the amount of renewable electricity to 5% over the last few years and later this month we will be launching our consultation on how we can drive this forward even further."

Construction of Phase I, the biomass energy plant, costing circa £200 million, is expected to start later this year and to be operational by 2011. The site will also incorporate an area dedicated to wildlife conservation.

The biomass power plant will require around 430,000 tonnes of sustainably sourced feedstock each year, with a significant amount coming from the UK, says Helius Energy.