The chief executive of King’s Lynn’s Palm Paper has denied a claim his company is in “advanced” talks to buy power generated by the controversial incinerator planned for the edge of the town.

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Anglo-American consortium Cory Wheelabrator has claimed talks with the firm to buy steam and/or power from its proposed incinerator in Saddlebow are at an “advanced stage”. But, in a letter to anti-incinerator campaigners, Dr Wolfgang Palm has said this claim, made in public documents submitted to Norfolk County Council, titled Environmental Information and Clarification, regarding the potential environmental impact of the scheme, is incorrect.

“We have only accommodated the request for talks by Cory Wheelabrator in as much that we let them explain to us what the project looks like and what their timescale is,” he said.

“They further explained to us how much steam and power will be produced and what they would like to sell to us. They further explained to us at what price they would be able to make the steam available.

“We have listened to the presentation with interest and then ended the talks; the claims in public about ongoing talks definitely do not correspond to reality.

“I would like to assure you that there is neither an oral nor a written agreement between Palm and Cory Wheelabrator that we acquire steam or power, if necessary, from the waste incinerator should the project be completed.

“Thus the operators are in no position to consider us as a secure customer for steam and/or power. Also for the profitability analysis, as part of the project finance, they are not able to consider the sale of energy to us due to the lack of our confirmation.”

In the letter to Tilney All Saints resident Dr Martin Little, Dr Palm reiterated the firm is maintaining a “strictly neutral position” over the proposals.

Dr Palm, however, has admitted the mill could acquire steam or power from the incinerator should it be built but it is one of four possible options going forward.

Anti-incinerator campaigner Mike Knights said: “This contradiction is highly significant. This calls in to question other information used in support of the incinerator planning application.”

He added: “West Norfolk residents have already shown they have no confidence in the Willows Incinerator, it is now time for it to be called-in for an independent planning inspector to decide.”

Norfolk County Council awarded the contract to build the incinerator, known as the Willows Power and Recycling Facility, to Anglo-American consortium 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.

Paul Green, speaking on behalf of Cory Wheelabrator, said: “The proposed Willows Power and Recycling facility has the potential to supply electricity to the National Grid and steam to neighbouring industry, which would make this plant one of the most efficient in the UK.

“We’ve held early stage discussions with Palm Paper on whether the Willows facility could supply steam to the paper mill, but at present no contract is in place.”

Environment secretary Caroline Spelman has already announced the approval of £91m in PFI funding to Norfolk County Council to go towards the cost of the proposed incinerator in Saddlebow.

However West Norfolk council intends to challenge Ms Spelman’s decision to approve the PFI funding and has previously urged communities secretary Eric Pickles to call in the scheme so an independent inspector can have the final say.

The council claims Ms Spelman broke her own guidelines in awarding the money because there is not a “broad consensus of support” for the £500m incinerator. A poll carried out in West Norfolk saw 65,000 people vote against the building of the plant.

Anti-incinerator campaigners attempted to secure a judicial review into the process by which the county council agreed to award a contract to waste company Cory Wheelabrator but a High Court judge dismissed their attempt in December.

21 comments

  • In March I received a nice letter from Dr Palm, who has always been very well respected in Lynn, saying that there was no contract either verbal or in writing between Palm and Cory Wheelabrator. On top of that the National Grid only accept connections of over 50MW the incinerator will generate approx 20MW. This is just a small example of the missinformation that has been quoted to date in an aim to achieve good PR and public approval. I am pleased to see this all coming out into the open at last!

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    Joy, King's Lynn

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

  • Is the planning application going to be changed once again to reflect the truth over Palm Paper and the steam, or is this farce going to continue?

    Report this comment

    Honest John

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

  • All the dust and particles which will be emitted will play havoc with the paper quality.

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    norfolkngood

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

  • PFI ruling years ago stated that funding was only to be made available nationally on EfW incinerators with CH&P, yet again NCC have hoodwinked DEFRA, they have enough egg on their face to make one very large omelette indeed. CW & NCC initially stated the incinerator needed to be next to a power station, now it appears they could plug into an extension lead.

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    Honest John

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

  • All these pesky facts and evidence are really getting in the way for NCC and CW aren't they Joy?

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    alecto

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

  • More deceit from Wheelabrator, trying to use Palm Paper as a carrot for their very much hated waste incinerator. It is disgraceful tactics once again by Wheelabrator and NCC to assume that Dr Wolfgang Palm will buy cheap steam. Dr Palm seems a decent man and I am sure will not in any circumstances by steam from a company that has adverse effects on recycling. Palm Paper is a recycling company and it would be damaging for a recycling company to do work with a company that would have the opposit effect. Waste incinerators are outdated and Germany will not be building any more. Cancer is on the increase we have to give hope to our children and not entertain such nonsense. Thank you Dr Palm for standing with the good people of Lynn on this one.

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    Jack

    Friday, May 18, 2012

  • I wonder if anyone at the EDP will grow enough of a spine to ask Cllr Borrett about this, or will they defer to NCC's PR dept as usual?

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    User Removed

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

  • Is the planning application going to be changed once again to reflect the truth over Palm Paper and the steam, or is this farce going to continue?

    Report this comment

    Honest John

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

  • Incidently a further snippet of interest to those following the incinerator farce. I attended a meeting with the EA yesterday and they confirmed that as far as the permit is concerned under the Waste Framework Directive Willows is only a disposal operation! Does that mean they should not have public money spent on it as it is on a par with landfill. Landfill gas currently generates 15.965MW in Norfolk, which is OFGEN accredited under the Renewables Obligation, this will reduce as waste to landfill also reduces. Have NCC taken that into account I wonder?

    Report this comment

    Joy, King's Lynn

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

  • It is iron that the people of West Norfolk did not object to the Power Station and Palm Paper. They would not like to be classed as NIMBYS. Palm Paper contributes to recycling in a big way. The incinerator is like one big cigarette burning twenty four hours a day and all the ash dropped around it. The Government and Europe spent years convincing us smoking is bad especially passive smoking. The other ironic part is the man (Prof Bridges) that advised the government on health issues concerning incinerator emissions previously worked for the tobacco industry. The planning consultation has gone on too long proving there is a problem with the site, Cory Wheelabrator or both!

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    Choice

    Sunday, May 20, 2012

  • Really some of the most vociferous comments on here are pushing it a bit Everyone knows that the incinerator was proposed as a solution to the EU requirement to reduce landfill-it was either NCC complies or be fined. It matters not one whit that landfill produces methane the problem is the non bidegradeable waste ( and even a lettuce will not rot in anaerobic conditions produced when landfill is capped) which cannot be recycled. Everyone seems to be ignoring this with their cases for composting and shredding and gas production. They are ignoring that the stuff is going north to pollute Humberside in cement factory burners, that the fancy site at Milton has residues it does not know what to do with and they too are burned. What does it matter if Palm Paper buys the energy and if Palm paper provides waste pulp for fuel- What happened to being in favour of recycling? Or is that only when the reality of recycling is hidden in China or in toxic heaps in Africa? Unless the present laws on packaging are completely overhauled it is idealistic to think that everything can be reused and recycled. We might as well have the energy. One wonders if some of the opposition is purely political and anti USA companies, similar to some of the opposition to GM crops.

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    Daisy Roots

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

  • Things are going badly for NCC.

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    alecto

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

  • Is the planning application going to be changed once again to reflect the truth over Palm Paper and the steam, or is this farce going to continue?

    Report this comment

    Honest John

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

  • Norfolk County Council should not be allowed to determine a planning application when it is a fait accompli as it is Norfolk County Council who have already signed the incinerator contract.There is clear conflict of interest here and the matter should be referred to whatever system is supposed to be in place to determine its propriety within the terms of the Local Authority Code of Conduct.Norfolk County Council should never determine their own planning applications.Members of the relevant Planning Committees should therefore all declare an interest and refuse to determine the application.It is no wonder there is widespread refusal on behalf of the general public to engage with the politics of Government at any level when there is such a lack of openness and democracy,the response to which can only be undiluted cynicism.

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    Peter Watson

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

  • So that's just landfill obviously!

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    Honest John

    Friday, May 18, 2012

  • Spot on Joy! The National Grid stated this farce of a projects incinerator could NOT be connected to the grid. Mr Murphy have the decency to stop fighting the Norfolk electorate, save face and cancel this before you waste more of OUR money.

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    d, west lynn

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

  • This revelation strikes at the very heart of the business case for the attempt to place an incinerator at Saddlebow. The fact that Norfolk residents have been misled at such a fundamental level raises serious questions about trust between them, NCC and Cory Wheelabrator. I wonder if any members of our illustrious cabinet are detecting the familiar aroma of 'pants on fire' today??

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    User Removed

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

  • "The use of the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) to fund large-scale developments including incineration may provide some reassurance for the local community, as the PFI rules state that government money will only be allocated to incineration with energy recovery once all the other options higher up the hierarchy have been considered."

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    Honest John

    Friday, May 18, 2012

  • The national grid do not want the electric, Palm paper do not want the power, the good people of West Norfolk do not want the incinerator. Local councillors moving away from the area, sounds like a good Faydeau farce in the making!

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    Ron Cornell

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

  • I'm sure the voters of Carleton Forehoe will appreciate Mr. Murphy's democratic credentials and how he represents the facts. Sincere thanks to Dr. Palm for his honesty

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

  • It's a pretty pass when we read more local news in Private Eye than the local newspaper isn't it?

    Report this comment

    alecto

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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