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The Herts Advertiser: Construction of St Albans biomass facility receives go-ahead



By Monique Hall


A new biomass facility will begin construction early next year in Potters Crouch after being granted an environmental permit.

The £60 million development which will be run by Navitas Environmental will create 30 new jobs when it fully opens.

Over 150 people will be employed during the construction of the facility and a further 30 jobs will be created in the local supply chain.

The former Wood Recycling Services site hit the headlines in 2012 after a huge fire broke out due to excessive amounts of wood being stored. It was not the first time that a fire had started at the site on the Hemel Hempstead Road.

The operators at the time of the 2012 blaze faced prosecution between 1997 and 2008 for three counts of waste mismanagement.

A statement issued by Navitas last week said the new facility would process 86,000 tonnes of dry waste wood per year, which would reportedly otherwise end up in a landfill. It hopes to generate 12 mega watts of renewable energy, enough to provide electricity for 17,000 homes.

Andy Beck, director of Navitas Environmental, said: “We are very pleased to have been given the green light by both Herts County Council and the Environment Agency to develop this state-of-the-art facility for generating renewable energy.

“The Environment Agency undertook an extensive public consultation exercise that resulted in five comments from the public and organisations.

“The biomass development will be a welcome improvement to the current site and will provide a long term sustainable outlet for waste wood, primarily from Hertfordshire, transforming it into ‘green’ electricity.”

He went on: “We will be working closely with the local community to provide details of the construction timetable and job vacancies as they occur.”