Today (Monday 3 June) the Scottish Government has granted consent for Forth Energy, a joint venture between Forth Ports Limited and SSE plc, to develop a wood fuelled renewable combined heat and power (CHP) plant at the Port of Grangemouth.
The CHP plant will be the largest in Scotland. It will use sustainably sourced wood fuel primarily from overseas and will have the capacity to generate significant amounts of low carbon renewable electricity (120MW) and heat (200MW). Electricity will be supplied to the national grid and heat will be supplied to industrial users, thereby reducing their carbon emissions. The plant also provides the potential for the subsequent installation of a district heating network in the Grangemouth area.
Forth Energy’s plant will make a significant contribution to Scotland’s 2020 renewable heat and electricity targets and will complement other forms of renewable energy. The plant will have the capacity to heat the equivalent of 1,000 Commonwealth Games sized swimming pools continuously and will meet 92% of the Falkirk Council area’s electricity needs.
The plant will demonstrate significant carbon savings over its operating life compared with fossil fuel alternatives. The wood fuel for the plant is intended to be sourced from overseas and delivered by ship, the lowest carbon means of transportation for bulk goods. The plant’s location on an 18 hectare site within the Port of Grangemouth will allow the fuel to be discharged directly into the plant.
Forth Energy will now engage with the relevant authorities, including the Scottish Government and Falkirk Council, to examine the details of the consent granted in order to progress the development of the CHP plant. It is anticipated that the plant will take approximately three years to build following a year’s detailed design and engineering, and the plant could begin generating heat and electricity by approximately 2017.
The plant represents a capital investment of £465m. It will create approximately 300 construction jobs, peaking at 500 during parts of the build process; then 70 operational jobs based at the port, running the plant and handling the fuel. It is forecast to deliver around £26m of economic growth per year to the area.
Forth Energy Managing Director, Calum Wilson, said:
“We share the Scottish Government’s objective of providing renewable, reliable and responsible heat and electricity for Scotland and we are delighted that the Ministers have approved this ambitious project. This consent creates the opportunity for us to develop a combined heat and power plant that will generate low carbon renewable electricity and heat from wood fuel shipped to the plant, whilst delivering significant benefits to the Grangemouth economy. We will now examine the details of the decision and look forward to engaging with the Scottish Government, Falkirk Council and the local community to take our plans forward.”