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Last Updated: Friday, 27 January 2006, 13:41 GMT
Work begins on bio power station
Biomass plant at Lockerbie - Image courtesy E.ON
The Steven's Croft scheme is said to be the UK's biggest
Work has started on a 90m biomass power station, hailed as the largest project of its kind in the UK.

A ground breaking ceremony marked the beginning of the E.ON UK project at Steven's Croft near Lockerbie.

The green scheme - which converts waste timber products into energy - should supply enough power to meet the needs of around 70,000 homes.

The firm predicts the project will create 40 direct jobs and 300 indirect posts in forestry and farming.

The Big Lottery Fund is providing 18m from its Bio-Energy Capital Grants Scheme for the E.ON UK project.

The company said 220,000 tonnes of fuel would be required each year and this would be sourced from the local environment.

Scotland has an abundant resource to lead the way in biomass development in the UK, providing and sustaining jobs and meeting local energy needs
Nicol Stephen
Deputy First Minister

About 40 jobs would be created at the Lockerbie site with a further 300 in forestry and farming.

Deputy First Minister Nicol Stephen welcomed the start of construction work.

He said: "This is excellent news for both Lockerbie and Scotland.

"Scotland has an abundant resource to lead the way in biomass development in the UK, providing and sustaining jobs and meeting local energy needs.

"Developments like this demonstrate extremely clearly that, by seizing these tremendous opportunities, we can help make Scotland a powerhouse of renewable energy."

'Added bonus'

The plant was also backed by Friends of the Earth Scotland's Head of Research, Stuart Hay.

He said: "In the future using biomass to generate electricity and heat is going to play an ever increasing part in helping to reduce climate pollution.

"Plants such as this will also lead to new jobs in remoter parts of the country.

"The fact that this facility will be using forestry residues that would otherwise have gone to waste is an added bonus."


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Hear what the biomass plant does



SEE ALSO:
Power plan aims to generate jobs
12 Oct 05 |  Scotland
UK boost for biomass fuel crops
19 Oct 04 |  Science/Nature
Renewable energy in the home
02 Sep 04 |  Business


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