RES scraps €362.4m Blyth biomass project in England

6 March 2014 (Last Updated March 6th, 2014 18:30)

UK-based Renewable Energy Systems has scrapped its plans to build £300m (€362.4m) biomass power station project at the Port of Blyth in Northumberland due to uncertainty in UK energy policy.

UK-based Renewable Energy Systems has scrapped its plans to build a £300m (€362.4m) biomass power station project at the Port of Blyth in Northumberland due to uncertainty in UK energy policy.

RES has blamed the government's inconsistent support for dedicated biomass energy over the last two years.

Termination of the project results in loss of hundreds of millions of pounds of investment into the Blyth estuary and wider Northumberland economy, the company claims.

Approximately 300 construction job opportunities and 50 full-time, long-term positions will be lost due to project termination.

According to RES, the project was expected to contribute towards a long-term partnership with the Port of Blyth in terms of fuel transport, handling and occupancy, helping to secure further growth of this important employer and economic engine of the region.

It would also have furnished a magnet for economic growth in Northumberland and the north-east region.

RES COO for the UK Gordon MacDougall said that in spite of the support the project enjoys locally due to the significant benefits it would bring to the local and regional economy, the North Blyth biomass power station currently faces insurmountable investment barriers due to uncertain government energy policy.

"The gradual erosion of support for dedicated biomass leaves us with no other option."

"it's bitterly disappointing for RES that we are unable to bring this exciting project forward, and deliver the significant boost it would have represented for the Blyth and Northumberland economy," MacDougall said.

"However, the gradual erosion of support for dedicated biomass leaves us with no other option."

The company has asked the government to clarify its support for renewable energy as a vital part of the UK energy mix, in order to ensure that independent generators and major investors alike have the certainty needed to continue investing in UK infrastructure.

MacDougall also said that this is a reminder to government that, without a consistent approach to energy policy, investors and developers will be deterred from delivering the billions of pounds needed to ensure the UK's energy infrastructure is able to keep the lights on and secure cost effective electricity for British homes and businesses.

In addition to this, the government's preference for the conversion of existing coal fired power stations to biomass over dedicated biomass generating capacity is at odds with the urgent need to bridge the looming capacity crunch in the UK energy system.

Energy