Powered by wood

THE first wood-burning power station in the UK officially opens on Teesside today.

A £60M wood-burning power station - the first of its kind in the UK - officially opens on Teesside today.

SembCorp’s biomass power station will save around 200,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year compared with a conventional power station - reducing as much greenhouse gas each year as taking 67,000 cars off the road.

The power station, based at Wilton, has created 15 permanent jobs and sustained 1,000 during construction.

Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks MP was due to open the site today.

He said: “The UK energy market is one of the strongest and most diverse in the world. Our challenge is to find innovative ways to generate energy sustainably.

“The SembCorp biomass power station is a real success story - providing carbon-neutral power to the homes of thousands, using fuel from local sources.”

The station will use 300,000 tonnes of sustainable wood each year to generate 30MW of electricity - enough to power 30,000 households.

Paul Gavens, executive vice president and managing director of SembCorp Utilities UK, said: “SembCorp is proud to be at the forefront of this type of biomass power generation and we are committed to creating a greener future for our business.”

Vera Baird, MP for Redcar, said: “By greening their operations, SembCorp make the complex more attractive for climate-conscious companies, existing businesses and new investors.

“I am proud to have this sustainable, ultra-modern plant in Redcar.”

The intention to build the UK’s first 100% wood-to-energy power station was announced in March 2005.

Following commission, commercial production started in September this year.

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