Page last updated at 12:54 GMT, Monday, 30 November 2009

Protesters block wood chip plant

Climate Camp Cymru protesters climbed a chimney stack
Climate Camp Cymru protesters climbed a chimney stack

A group of protesters opposed to plans for two large wood burning power stations in north and south Wales have targeted a smaller existing plant.

Police removed three people, who blocked a gate at the Western Wood biomass plant in Port Talbot and two others who climbed a chimney stack.

The protesters said they were drawing attention to larger plants planned for Port Talbot and Holyhead on Anglesey.

Western Woods said it took precautions to ensure their safety.

The activists, who said they were from Climate Camp Cymru, were taken away by police around 1300 BST.

They were objecting to plans for a £400m biomass power station close to the much smaller Western Woods plant in Port Talbot.

Prenergy Power has been granted a licence by Environment Agency Wales (EAW) for the project which the company said would be able to power 500,000 homes.

Construction is set to start next year.

Anglesey Aluminium has submitted a separate application to the Department of Energy and Climate Change for a biomass plant near its smelting works on the island.

The protesters claim both would import wood from abroad and need thousands of acres of industrial tree plantations to provide the wood chip fuel.

All the wood used at the Western Wood plant where the protest is taking place is sourced in the UK.

The protesters said originally they planned on staying at the plant for most of Monday.

Rob Goodsell claimed: "The Port Talbot and Holyhead biomass plants will require an area of dedicated biomass plantations half the size of Wales.

"A land area this size could feed up to a third of the population of Britain.

"With the world facing serious food security issues in coming years this is crazy."

A spokesperson for the Western Wood biomass plant said staff took "the necessary safety precautions" during the protest.



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SEE ALSO
Biomass plant gets agency permit
30 Sep 09 |  South West Wales
Biomass plant proposal for island
23 Sep 09 |  North West Wales
400m wood chip plant approved
21 Nov 07 |  South West Wales
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13 Mar 07 |  South West Wales
Ministers bullish on biomass fuel
27 Apr 06 |  Science & Environment

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