Page last updated at 15:50 GMT, Thursday, 19 June 2008 16:50 UK

Scottish visit over biomass plant

Biomass plant
The biomass plant would be on the old Coadbach Coal Washery site

A decision has been put on hold over whether to build a biomass plant to burn woodchip in Carmarthenshire.

The council's planning committee will visit a similar power station, possibly in Scotland, before making its ruling.

BIO E plc said the plant on an old coal washery site near Kidwelly could burn up to 500,000 tonnes of woodchip a year and generate up to 50MW of electricity.

Opponents of the scheme demonstrated outside county hall in Carmarthen before the meeting started.

Council planning officers had recommended the application was approved, stating it would help achieve Welsh Assembly Government renewable energy targets.

But the 22-strong committee deferred a decision so it could visit a similar sized plant.

Councillors were told there was one at Lockerbie.

Let's put this in perspective, this is the same size as Trostre steelworks in Llanelli
Robin Cammish

The decision was welcomed by campaigners.

Robin Cammish said: "I think its absolutely the right decision to defer this so the council can look at the site and see one in operation.

"Let's put this in perspective, this is the same size as Trostre steelworks in Llanelli. It's enormous - 300 metres long.

"To put that in a rural landscape will just have an appalling impact on the local area."

The company said steam would be used to power a turbine, connected to a power generator, to produce renewable energy for the electricity network.

It said its application was supported by an environmental impact assessment.

No objections were made by any of the statutory bodies including the Countryside Council for Wales.


SEE ALSO
Concern over small biomass option
16 May 08 |  Science/Nature
Farmers speculate on biomass boom
14 Jun 07 |  South of Scotland
Wood-burning plant given boost
22 Mar 06 |  South West Wales

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