30 MW Biomass Plant Grows in Teesside, UK

SembCorp Utilities invested GBP 60 million (US $115 million) to build a new wood-burning power station at the Wilton International manufacturing site in Teesside, UK.

Known as Wilton 10, the facility is set to become one of the UK’s largest biomass renewable energy projects, generating 30 MW of electricity – enough to power around 30,000 homes – once it is operational by mid-2007. Wilton 10 will generate power and steam from around 300,000 tons per year of wood from specially grown energy crops, as well as wood from conventional forestry, sawmill chips and recycled timber. A portion of the wood will be stored on the site prior to being fed into the boiler. A wood to energy approach is in line with the 1997 Kyoto Agreement against global warming, according to the company press release. In addition, the process at Wilton 10 should feed back into the ecological cycle because carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere by the energy plant is absorbed by trees during their growth. SembUtilities UK will be submitting an application to the UK Environment Agency for a permit to operate the plant, which has been designed to meet UK and European emissions targets. “Renewable energy presents an entirely new business opportunity for this region and one that were keen to be a part of,” Paul Gavens, SembCorp Utilities UK managing director said. “We believe this investment will transform our operations and offers us a great platform from which we can move forward to a brighter, greener future. Wilton 10 will also contribute towards meeting national climate change and greenhouse gas reduction targets.” Around GBP 10 million (US $19.1 million) of the investment in Wilton 10 will come from a grant made under the UK Government’s Bio-energy Capital Grants Scheme. The remaining investment of around GBP 50 million will be financed by a combination of internal funds and long-term project finance.

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