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Key politicians back Honda biomass plan



THERE has been a positive reaction to Honda’s plan to build a brand new energy centre at its factory in South Marston.

As revealed in yesterday’s Adver, the car makers have asked for planning permission to build a biomass plant on site, to create a permanent source of power.

It will use a process of gasification, which is a different from a proposal put forward for Cheney Manor by Hippofan.

Honda’s energy centre will be beside nearby solar farms to move forward the firm’s commitment to clean power.

“There is no magic pill when it comes to renewable energy with everything having benefits which is why we use a mix at Honda.”

The proposed energy centre will use a gasification process in which recycled wood is heated until it becomes a gas. This gas is then burnt to heat water and a steam turbine creates the power.

The site will be built on the factory site, away from residents, with the chimney stack being no higher than anything already on site.

Several South Marston parish councillors have already said that, while they have yet to see full details, from what they have seen there is nothing to object to.

Other politicians from across Swindon have added their support to the plan.

Swindon North MP Justin Tomlinson said: “The plan seems well thought out, taking into consideration the local area and will help secure the long-term sustainabilty of the vital Honda facility, absolutely key to our local economy.

“Renewable energy will continue to play a growing part in local energy supply but it should always be with the support of communities.”

Councillor Des Moffatt (Lab, Rodbourne Cheney) opposes the biomass plant in Cheney Manor but says Honda’s plan is better.

He said: “It is a far more attractive proposal to that put forward by Hippofan. “Gasification is different to combustion and does not involve simply burning wood.

“The process by which they get the wood ready, which is messy, will be away from the factory. The product left over can be used in roads or making bricks, which you cannot do with combustion where everything left over goes to landfill.”