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Snetterton straw-fired biomass plant sold for £160m

PUBLISHED: 14:51 27 November 2014

Snetterton Energy Plant.

Snetterton Energy Plant.

Archant

A pair of Scandinavian firms have snapped up the rights to build a straw-fired biomass plant at Snetterton.

Founding developers Iceni Energy and Eco2 have struck a £160m deal to sell the project to Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor (BWSC) and PensionDanmark.

The joint venture will take charge of the investment, construction, operation and maintenance of the plant, which is expected to start generating electricity by spring 2017.

It comes after the project received planning consent from Breckland Council in July 2012, despite concerns that it might increase traffic, drive up straw prices and generate noise and light pollution.

David Williams, chief executive at Eco2 said: “This is a significant deal for the UK biomass industry, and the second sale Eco2 has completed with BWSC PCL on a sustainable-scale straw-fired biomass plant.

“Straw supply contracts have been put in place for the next 12 years, giving local farmers a secured income for their surplus straw.

“The new plant will also bring improvements to the electricity grid infrastructure, which will assist Breckland Council in the development of the Snetterton Heath area, creating further jobs.”

According to Eco2, the plant will drive £11m into the East Anglian economy by sourcing straw locally through fuel supply contracts.

The company expects the project to support 250 jobs during construction and create 36 positions once finished.

Michael Wassell, leader of Breckland Council, said: “Having worked closely with Iceni in driving forward this project for a number of years, I am delighted that our hard work will soon see construction get underway. The new biomass energy plant will bring new regular investments to the local agricultural economy while also enabling more businesses to move to the area, creating new jobs and boosting regeneration and growth across Breckland.”

• Do you have a business story for the EDP? Contact business editor Ben Woods on 01603 772426 or email ben.woods@archant.co.uk

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