Forth Energy pulls plug on energy plant

Forth Energy has withdrawn plans to build a combined heat and power (CHP) plant at the Port Of Leith, after new proposals to develop it as a hub for offshore renewable energy emerged.

The decision to retract the proposals was made by Forth Energy after concerns were raised that the development of the port as an offshore renewable energy facility would place constant demand for space.

Friends of the Earth (FoE) Scotland welcomed the move, saying it marks a “huge success” for their campaign ‘Back Away From Big Biomass’

FoE chief executive Stan Blackley, said: “It is great news that Forth Energy has come to its senses regarding its Leith biomass plan and pulled the plug on it, and not before time too!

“Forth Energy’s plans for creating only electricity from large-scale biomass is not only highly inefficient and in breach of EU standards, but also threatens local air quality and international deforestation, human rights abuses and biodiversity.”

According to Forth Energy, it will re-assess the potential for renewable energy production at the Port of Leith, owned by Forth Ports, once the full configuration of renewables companies locating at the Port has been finalised, land availability has been re-evaluated and the demand for renewable energy has been assessed.

Forth Energy managing director Calum Wilson, said: “Much has changed since we first applied for permission to build a CHP plant at Leith, not least the Port’s emerging status as a hub to support the Scottish offshore renewable energy industry.

“We remain fully committed to bringing reliable, responsible, renewable heat and electricity to Scotland through our proposed developments at the Ports of Grangemouth, Rosyth and Dundee and, in the process, assisting the Scottish Government in achieving its ambitious 2020 renewable energy targets.

The Port of Leith has been identified by Scottish Enterprise as Scotland’s top location for renewables manufacturing and sits within the Scottish Government’s recently-announced Low Carbon/Renewables East Enterprise Area.

Forth Ports chief executive Charles Hammond, said that the application withdrawal would help “facilitate the Port of Leith’s role as a renewables hub”.

He added: “The level of demand from renewables companies keen to locate at the Port of Leith means that it is appropriate that we draw breath while we see how the land configuration at the port evolves.”

Carys Matthews

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