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Kent Business: Biomass plant creates more than 25 jobs at Ridham Dock near Sittingbourne


A £118 million biomass power plant fuelled by old timber is creating more than 25 jobs in Kent.
The project by German energy company MVV Energie is at Ridham Dock on the River Swale, near Sittingbourne. Ridham Ltd is an English subsidiary of the German firm. 
With a view to implementing efficient combined heat and power (CHP), the plant will generate both electricity and heating energy.
The power plant, which has just started construction, has a net capacity of 23 megawatts and will generate almost 188million kilowatt-hours of green electricity a year.
It will also be able to supply industrial neighbours with environmentally-friendly heating energy.
The firm says the plant will directly create around 25 jobs at the site and further jobs at suppliers across the region.
MVV Energie already operates three biomass power plants in Germany with a throughput of 370,000 tonnes of waste timber a year.
The Ridham Dock power plant will have an annual capacity of 172,000 tonnes of old timber in categories B and C (processed timber and timber with slight to medium contamination) from the surrounding region.
These types of wood are normally exported to Continental Europe.
"Building the power plant in Ridham Dock will enable us to benefit from the attractive conditions on offer in the UK," said Paul Carey, managing director of MVV Environment Ridham.
"The plant will have a high energy efficiency rate, absolutely state-of-the-art technology and make a valuable contribution towards ecological energy generation.
"This represents our first investment in biomass-based energy generation abroad."
Dr Georg Müller, chief executive officer of MVV Energie, said: "We will be drawing on the same wealth of technological and operating expertise that has already made us one of the market leaders in the biomass business in Germany."
The power plant is due to become operational by spring 2015.