Minister backs biomass plant plans as building work starts

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ENERGY Minister Charles Hendry has officially started work on a new £120m biomass-fired power station on the edge of Sheffield and said the city should be proud of the development.

The plant, which is being built by energy giant EON, will create around 30 full-time jobs once it is up and running in mid-2014, and should provide enough power to supply 70,000 homes.

Mr Hendry, who “broke ground” on the site, once occupied by Sheffield’s famous Tinsley towers which were part of the coal-fired Blackburn Meadows power station, said he was “pleased” to be able to take part.

He added: “The project will not just provide secure, low carbon energy from waste wood, it will support hundreds of jobs in construction too.

“The company’s plans for a visitor centre and a community benefits package will help give local people a real sense of ownership of the plant.”

Tim Forrest, head of biomass operations at EON, said: “We’re pleased that the minister has recognised the significance of our investment in this development, both for Sheffield and for the country.

“We’re committed to developing renewable energy and biomass power stations such as Blackburn Meadows form a very important part of that low carbon solution.”