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New twist in Norfolk incinerator saga: King’s Lynn’s Palm Paper opt to build own energy plant

PUBLISHED: 13:39 06 September 2012 | UPDATED: 15:54 06 September 2012

The Palm Paper Factory near King's Lynn.

The Palm Paper Factory near King's Lynn.

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A large paper mill in King’s Lynn has ended speculation it could buy power generated by the controversial incinerator planned for the edge of the town.

Bosses at Palm Paper had met with Anglo-American consortium Cory Wheelabrator to discuss its plans for an incinerator in Saddlebow and admitted buying steam and/or power from the plant was one of four options being considered.

But last night a spokesman confirmed the firm, which provides paper for the EDP, now wants to build a Combined Heat and Power plant on its site to provide electricity and steam for the mill - something anti-incinerator campaigners believe is a major blow to the case for the Saddlebow scheme.

The spokesman continued: “Palm Paper is in consultation with West Norfolk Council regarding this installation and is awaiting [views] from the Planning Inspectorate.”

Combined Heat and Power (CHP) is a process that captures and utilises the heat that is a by-product of the electricity generation process.

According to the Department of Energy and Climate Change, CHP can reduce carbon emissions by up to 30pc compared to the separate means of conventional generation like a power station.

The proposed development is to construct and operate a combined cycle gas turbine power station which will burn natural gas exclusively which has efficiency above 84pc.

It is understood the plant could generate between 55 and 65 MW of electricity and 100 tonnes of steam per hour.

A public consultation on this plan could start next month and, based on views from the Planning Inspectorate and this consultation, an environmental statement could be prepared in December.

Anti-incinerator campaigner Mike Knights said: “It’s very significant that Palm has looked at all options and don’t want to have anything to do with this scheme.

“It’s going to make it easier for Palm Paper because they know they will get all the energy and steam they need and not having to rely on anyone else.

“I don’t anticipate there will be opposition to this scheme and I’m pleased Palm Paper has thought better than doing business with Cory Wheelabrator.”

This latest twist in the on-going incinerator saga comes a week after Communities Secretary Eric Pickles called in the incinerator plan.

The secretary of state called in the planning application after his department received nearly 6,000 letters - one of the biggest responses ever received for an application.

Norfolk County Council awarded the contract to build the incinerator, known as the Willows Power and Recycling Facility, to Cory Wheelabrator last year.

The county council says the plant is needed to prevent the county’s waste having to go to landfill. It says it will save millions of pounds a year.

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