Construction of 44 MW bioenergy plant begins in the U.K.

By Eco2 Ltd. | January 21, 2015

The ground was broken Jan. 20 at the site of a new biomass power plant in Snetterton, U.K., to mark the official start of construction of this major project, which will bring regeneration and new jobs to the area.

The 44.2 MW straw-powered biomass plant will create jobs and help to drive the regeneration of the Snetterton area, bringing benefits to residents and businesses across district communities.

The plant will have capacity to generate enough electricity to meet the needs of 82,000 homes and the potential to become an electricity connectivity point for Snetterton Heath, where electricity connectivity is currently poor. This would enable existing businesses to expand in the area as well as attracting new businesses, improving job opportunities for residents and boosting the local economy.

“I’m absolutely delighted that construction of the biomass plant is now officially underway and am looking forward to the realization of the benefits it is expected to bring for local people,” said Cllr Michael Wassell, leader of Breckland Council.

“The power that this plant will generate, along with the improved infrastructure offered by the dualled A11 and Breckland’s ‘open for business’ policies, make the district an increasingly attractive place for businesses. That’s good news for residents as it means more jobs, regeneration, growth, and a prosperous future.”

Following the launch of the construction phase, building work will get underway which will see up to 250 people employed on the site.

Once the plant is built it will provide up to 36 permanent jobs, plus a further 50 jobs in fuel transportation. Contracts are already in place with local farmers, whose surplus straw will help to power the biomass plant for the coming decade, which will bring in an £11 million ($16.73 million) annual investment to the East Anglian agricultural economy.

The plant will be run by Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor A/S, which will own it in partnership with a Danish infrastructure fund managed by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners A/S, and will oversee the construction process. BWSC Director Christian Grundtvig said, “We are delighted with the acquisition of the Snetterton plant which adds a strong base to our portfolio in the UK and we are looking forward to making it a successful project.”

The project was originally developed by Iceni Energy Ltd. who was given the green light to build the plant by Breckland in 2012.  Iceni Energy has since joined forces with leading renewable energy project developer Eco2 Ltd to take the project forward to financial close.,

David Williams, Chief Executive atEco2 commented, “Today’s groundbreaking ceremony officially marks the beginning of the construction of the Snetterton Renewable Energy Plant. It is fantastic to see work commencing, and we look forward to fostering our relationships in the East Anglian agricultural community, giving local farmers a secured income for their surplus straw, and working in partnership to deliver a sustainable-scale straw-fired biomass plant”.

The biomass plant is expected to be operational by around mid-2017. The new plant will bring improvements to the electricity grid infrastructure, which will assist Breckland Council in the development of the Snetterton Heath area, creating further jobs.