A £160 million deal has been reached to build a biomass power plant capable of supplying 50,000 homes in Kent.
The plant in Sandwich, Kent is set to be up and running by the summer of 2018, and Euroforest, the company contracted to supply the wood fuelling the power station, will shortly begin buying in order to build up stocks.
Much of the power will be produced for the science estate Discovery Park in Sandwich, where the plant will be built. The fuel will be virgin wood from the UK, saving about 100,000 tonnes of CO2 a year. Discovery Park managing director Paul Barber said the plant would make the site self-sufficient for energy and reduce its carbon footprint.
It will create around 300 jobs during its construction phase and 25 full-time jobs once operational.
Equally important are the opportunities this will bring for woodland owners in the south-east. Kent is one of the most heavily wooded counties in England, but sadly much of this woodland is currently un-managed.
The new power station will potentially provide a market for lower quality timber, allowing more woodland to be brought back into active management, which must be a good thing. We hope that his will provide not only economic benefits to woodland owners, but also wider nature conservation and landscape improvements as a result of better management.
Supplies to the plant must be proven to be from sustainably managed sources, so a Forestry Commission approved management plan will be necessary.
If you are interested in supplying the power station, contact us for advice and information on the next steps!