By Lucy Clapham
Friday, July 4, 2014
Great Yarmouth’s port is set to become home to three “cutting edge” clean energy plants, bringing jobs and further investment into the town.
Outer harbour bosses have signed an agreement for a lease giving Cambridge-based firm Clean Energy Ventures Ltd (CEV) the right to build and operate three biomass facilities in the port area.
Two will be based on South Denes near Eon’s Scroby Sands facility, just up from Fish Wharf, while the third – which will include a wood pellet factory – will be stationed on the outer harbour site.
It is hoped the sites will start producing electricity from the middle of next year, and once fully operational bosses say it will meet the energy demand of three-quarters of Yarmouth’s households.
CEV chiefs described Yarmouth as an “attractive” hub for energy with a skilled workforce as a result of its offshore connections.
Ian Hall, commercial director, said: “It’s an investment in the port area and the South Denes area. And it’s supplying energy into the grid to [counter] the imbalance of wind energy coming in, which is only available when it’s windy.”
Mr Hall, who has worked in the borough for more than 30 years, said the scheme would create around 25-30 jobs, and thought it was good news for the town.
“I know about the area. I have seen the decline and I’m pleased to be involved with something that’s going to redress the balance slightly,” he added. “Everything in Yarmouth is all coming together and it seemed a very sensible and realistic idea to come and put these plants here.”
Eliza O’Toole, deputy chairman of Great Yarmouth Port Company, said she was “excited” to welcome CEV into the town and thought their move recognised the “excellent capabilities” of the port.
“As part of the wider port community, the port offers a deeply experienced one stop shop for the renewables energy sector and we are proud to have attracted a trio of cutting-edge renewable energy projects to our industry cluster,” she added.
The plants will be fuelled by “virgin” wood – such as forest offcuts – and will allow for operations to be carried out 24 hours a day.
Work to establish the plants, which will have a lease of 25 years, will see a combination of new building work and the modification of existing facilities, and will include the import of “feedstock” through the river and outer harbour.