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CEC submits plans for biomass plant

CEC Generation, Welsh Power’s specialist sub-50MW generation subsidiary, sought permission yesterday from Newport City Council to build Nevis Power, a 49.9 MW 100% green power plant.

The company plans to build the plant on a 10-acre brown-field site at Newport Docks, a designated area for industrial works, with an investment of more than £140 million.

Nevis Power, designed to be ultra-efficient, will use pure biomass fuels comprising a mix of primarily wood chip and energy crops.

This sustainable fuel will provide a zero carbon eco footprint for the project which will be capable of supplying electricity to around 50,000  homes in the Newport area, Welsh Power said.

In addition to a boost of up to 200 construction jobs at its peak, Nevis Power will create some 30 permanent management, technical, administration and operational jobs, creating an economic boost for the community

Alex Lambie, chief executive of Welsh Power, said: “Welsh Power is proud to be at the forefront of 100% green power in Wales.  South Wales needs new generation, and one of our most important goals is to contribute to the Welsh Assembly’s aim of energy self-sufficiency for Wales, as well as investing here and creating skilled jobs.

“We have consulted extensively with all the interested environmental bodies, and pride ourselves on the fact that Nevis Power is designed to have a zero carbon footprint, and will use the very best available technology to maximise its efficiency and keep it 100% green.”

This development by Nevis Power is in response to the Welsh Assembly Government’s renewable energy recommendations and initiatives regarding the way forward to a leaner, greener and cleaner Wales; and its aim to deliver energy self-sufficiency for Wales.

Environmental consultants have conducted a thorough Environmental Assessment for the development and operation of Nevis Power, according to a scope agreed with Newport City Council and have carried out an extensive consultation process. 

The development has been specifically designed to minimise the impact on the local environment, including keeping road traffic to a minimum.  The site will be sensitively landscaped, with new planting to enhance its appearance and provide suitable wildlife habitats.

Welsh Power hopes to commence construction once planning permission has been awarded by Newport City Council, and it is estimated that the development will take between 24 and 29 months to complete.

The location of the site is particularly advantageous for the delivery of biomass fuel, Newport’s South Dock can accommodate large shipments up to 40,000 DWT that are more than sufficient to deliver the fuel demand for the project.  A grid connection is available at a short distance from the site boundary.