A new biomass power plant has moved a step closer to reality with the signing of a multi-million pound deal between RWE npower renewables and papermaker Tullis Russell.
Once completed, the biomass-fuelled co-generation plant, which will have an installed capacity of 50MW, will supply Tullis Russell's paper mill at Markinch, Fife with heat and electricity.
Paul Cowling, managing director of RWE npower renewables, said: 'Our parent company RWE Innogy will invest around £200m in the biomass facility. We have also secured an additional £8.1m in support from the Scottish government for the project.'
The company claims that the plant, which will replace an existing coal-fired power plant, will reduce annual carbon emissions by 250,000 tonnes and generate six per cent of Scotland’s renewable generation targets.
Around 400,000 tonnes of virgin and used wood from a wide range of sources will be used to power the plant, with contracts being put in place with local and national companies for the supply of biomass.
Chris Parr, chief executive of Tullis Russell Group, said: 'This innovative project will help to secure more than 500 jobs at Tullis Russell, create more than 50 permanent jobs in the operation of the power plant and a new biomass fuel processing facility, as well as 400 hundred jobs during the construction phase.'
Construction work will begin immediately and the power plant is scheduled to enter operation during 2012. In addition to this project, RWE npower renewables is developing plans for a similar biomass plant in Lincolnshire, with an installed capacity of 73MW.
Across Europe, RWE Innogy is aiming to build biomass plants with a total installed capacity of around 390MW by 2013.