In May 2012, Anglesey County Council’s Planning Committee decided unanimously to refuse a planning application which comprised a biofuel as well as a biomass (wood) power station and also a pellet plant. The developer, EcoPellets, has appealed against this decision.
If the Appeal succeeded and EcoPellets got planning permission, they would:
+ Build a biofuel plant which would burn 22,500 tonnes of liquid biofuels a year,
+ Build a separate biomass plant which would burn 200,000 tonnes of wood every year,
+ Build a plant which would turn 200,000 tonnes of wood into pellets for sale every year.
This combined development would:
+ Cause significant air pollution and thus threaten the health of people living and working nearby. Toxins emitted from such a combined power station will include small particulates and nitrogen oxides (both linked to respiratory and heart disease), heavy metals, dioxins and furans (linked to birth defects and cancers) and many more. Furthermore, wood dust (linked to cancer, asthma and skin disease) can be a serious problem around pellet plants;
+ Threaten forests in the UK and abroad: EcoPellets claim that for biofuels, they would use tallow, a by-product from slaughter houses. Tallow is in high demand and limited supply and if they got planning permission, EcoPellets might well end up burning virgin vegetable oils, perhaps even palm oil, a major cause of rainforest destruction and massive carbon emissions. They would also use 400,000 tonnes of wood every year. The company claims that this is sustainable, arguing that up to 750,000 tonnes of wood are ‘available’ for bioenergy across Wales, plus more than a million tonnes of waste wood across the UK. But in Wales alone, power stations have already been approved which, if built, will burn 8 million tonnes of wood every year – and many more are planned across the UK. There is no ‘spare wood’ for EcoPellet’s plant and their plans will (directly or indirectly) mean more wood imports from countries where forests are being destroyed.
+ Subject people living and working nearby to significant noise and smell.
+ Pose a risk of fires and explosions: Such accidents linked to wood pellets are common because pellets are highly flammable and the dust is explosive. Worldwide, 45 such incidents were reported from pellet plants worldwide, some of them causing deaths and injuries. When a pellet plant operated by RWE in the US exploded in 2011, the impact could be felt by people living five miles away.
Please write to the Planning Inspectorate today to oppose the plans and Eco Pellets’ appeal. Your letter will be automatically copied to the Isle of Anglesey Council (who are actively opposing the appeal). If you can personalize your message, it will have greater impact. Many thanks!