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Last Updated: Friday, 27 October 2006, 15:38 GMT 16:38 UK
Wood chip plant faces opposition
Ariel view of planned site in Port Talbot
The power station is planned for land near the deep water harbour
A plan to build a 400m wood chip burning power station in Port Talbot has run into opposition from residents.

Prenergy Power has applied to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for consent for the plant on industrial land close to the deep water harbour.

A petition claims there is already enough heavy industry in the area and raises concerns over emissions.

The company said it planned to hold a public exhibition in a bid to reassure residents over heath issues.

The 350MW station would burn chippings brought it by ship.

Prenergy claims the use of wood chip as a fuel for electricity generation is recognised as being carbon free, as the CO2 released is equal to that absorbed during the growth of the tree - replanting the trees ensures sustainability

We very much remain to be convinced that there will not be a negative impact on people's health and the immediate environment
Councillor Colin Crowley

It said the plant would contribute around 70% of the 2010 renewable generation target for the whole of Wales.

It also said it would create jobs and boost the local economy.

But councillors in the area are opposing the plant and will ask the DTI to refuse the application.

Colin Crowley said: "The promise of jobs and investment into the town would obviously be of benefit but not at the detriment of local residents.

Door-to-door

"We are not satisfied at the reassurances being issued and we very much remain to be convinced that there will not be a negative impact on people's health and the immediate environment."

A petition is being circulated door-to-door on the Sandfields estate - the nearest residential area to the site.

The company said environmental experts had assessed the project and their findings were in a report that had been submitted to the DTI, Welsh assembly government and Neath Port Talbot Council.

Director Matthew Carse said: "We will shortly he holding a public exhibition giving local people the opportunity to express their views and for us to explain in more detail how the project will sit within the locality.

"We are confident we can demonstrate to the local population the economic and environmental benefits do not come at the expense of people's health."


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