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Page last updated at 07:26 GMT, Thursday, 17 February 2011
Biomass power plant step closer for Holyhead
Anglesey Aluminium
Anglesey Aluminium began smelting in 1971 before closing in 2009

A £600m energy plant which could create 100 permanent new jobs on Anglesey has been given a preliminary go-ahead.

The woodchip-fuelled biomass plant at Holyhead has been approved by the Environment Agency Wales after a year's scrutiny of the plans.

The plant will be located on the old Anglesey Aluminium site, which employed 390 workers in September 2009.

If it does go ahead, the plant will see 600 construction jobs and a further 100 staff workers to run the plant.

The woodchip fuel would be shipped in and transported to the former smelting plant via the existing underground conveyor belt.

Hopefully it will create jobs in a poor economic climate, which has meant things have gone quite seriously downhill in the Holyhead area
Councillor John Chorlton, Holyhead Regeneration Group

It would then be burned to power steam turbines which could create energy for 250,000 homes.

Anglesey Aluminium Metal Renewables Limited (AAMR) has sought the permit with a view to selling on the 184-acre site at a price of around £10m. It is said several parties have shown an interest, including some energy companies.

Councillor John Chorlton, chairman of the Holyhead Regeneration Group sees a new use for the former aluminium plant as a positive step for the town.

"I will support the principle of a biomass plant because hopefully it will create jobs in a poor economic climate, which has meant things have gone quite seriously downhill in the Holyhead area," he said.

"Any work that can be created, especially quite well-paid jobs, can only be a bonus."

David Edwell, Environment Agency Wales' area manager for north Wales said: "We have carried out a rigorous scrutiny over the last 12 months and detailed information from the company shows that plans are in place to operate this plant to the highest environmental standards.

"At this stage we do not anticipate that it will cause any significant risk to the environment."

Visual impact

The report said the applicant had robust measures to control air emissions, ensure acid gases were at a safe level and that they had proposed satisfactory steps to control any odours.

The plans say the wood fuel used would only come from certified forest plantations following concerns about the sustainability of biomass feedstock.

This 'draft decision' will now be followed by a period of further public consultation until 7 March 2011 before the Agency makes its final decision.

The agency will hold a public information session at the London Road Community Centre, Holyhead on Thursday 17 February between 1600-1900 GMT where local people can find out more about the environmental permit process.

The scheme has already been approved by Anglesey County Council. The next step will be to gain approval from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) who will look at further issues such as extra traffic, visual impact and operating hours.

Metal plant to be decommissioned
08 Sep 10 |  North West Wales
Final shift at Anglesey Aluminium
30 Sep 09 |  North west
Jobs hope for aluminium site sale
24 Nov 10 |  North West Wales

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