A £400m biomass plant has been announced at Teesport in Teesside, which scientists hope will draw attention to the UK’s capacity for sustainable forestry for fuel.
The project will develop pyrolysis – a highly sustainable method of burning fuel for heat that uses waste trees and shrubs grown in marginal highlands and therefore not needed for raising crops.
Among the organisations involved in the project are NEPIC, North East Biofuels, One NorthEast, Renew and CPI. Together, they aim to develop the necessary technology by 2020.
Project manager Peter Harrison said: “Forestry provides a potentially significant resource for renewable energy. A biomass plant on such a large scale will help kickstart forestry in the UK and draw attention to the fact we can do it, which can only be a good thing.”
Martyn Pellew, managing director of PD Ports, said: “This is excellent news. The Tees Valley needs continuous investment from businesses that can create jobs and wealth. At a time where there has been so much doom and gloom about the economy in the national press, it is refreshing that there are big opportunities in the Tees Valley.”