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World's biggest woodchip plant secures new investment

The world’s biggest woodchip power plant is expected to move ahead after Italian private equity group Clessidra bought a third of the company planning to build the facility in south Wales.

Clessidra Capital Partners has taken a stake in Switzerland based Global Wood Holding which owns Prenergy Power – the company set to build the Port Talbot Renewable Energy Plant.

In 2007 Prenergy Power got the go ahead to build the plant on the site of a decommissioned steel factory.

Work is expected to get underway this quarter with a provisional completion date set for 2011.

A report on the proposals states: “It will operate for 8,000 hours each year generating around 350 Megawatts of renewable electricity from the combustion of around 2,500,000 to 3,000,000 tonnes of clean wood chip fuel[ per year, and will supply enough renewable energy to supply around 587,000 average homes.”

Woodchip plants are viewed as carbon neutral if they utilise trees grown for the purpose and the project is seen as a key test for the renewable energy market within Europe.