MP buoyed by Fife biomass plant’s future

Mr Grant with Douglas Penman
Mr Grant with Douglas Penman

Glenrothes and Central Fife MP Peter Grant paid a visit to the Markinch based biomass plant in the lead up to the festive period to see for himself the plant in full opporation.

The 65 MW RWE Innogy run plant, the biggest of its kind in the UK, has been generating power since February 2014 but looked to have suffered a set back when the paper manufacturer Tullis Russell, which took a large percentage of its generatedsteam and power, collapsed with the lost of over 550 jobs in April 2015 after 206 years of production at the site.

However, the power station runs independently of Tullis Russell, and was designed to have the capability to run in ‘power only mode’.

The power station therefore continues to operate at full capacity, purchasing and consuming the same volumes of fuel as originally planned.

“It was very impressive to see the Biomass Plant up close and to hear about the support RWE is offering the community,” Mr Grant told the Gazette.

He added: “The Biomass Plant is the largest plant of its kind on this island and is contributing to the economy of Mid-Fife in many ways.

“Although currently operating at much reduced levels of heat supply, the Markinch plant delivers a reduction in fossil fuel carbon dioxide emissions of around 150,000 tonnes per annum, delivering a major contribution to renewable energy consumption targets.”

And he added that the plant owners were now researching alternative options for for future power supply for the region.

“Following the loss of production at Tullis Russell, I am aware that RWE is engaged in various negotiations with, amongst others KPMG, Fife Council, Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Development International and local businesses to look at new and sustainable outlets for its heat and power,” said Mr Grant.

“I am reassured that RWE and the wider economic community are looking far and wide for potential users of the steam and electricity.”