A SUSSEX MEP is the latest to say “no” to a proposals for a biofuel power station in Shoreham.
Adur District Council is currently considering an application, to build the facility at the town’s port. It has attracted hundreds of letters of objection, more than 400 people have signed a petition calling for it not to go ahead, and Green politician Keith Taylor, who represents Sussex in the European Parliament, is the latest to wade into the row.
In a letter to Adur council he said: “I strongly urge the planning committee to reject this proposal. It will mean more air pollution in an area with already very high pollution levels, damaging people’s health.”
Edgeley Green Power (EGP), which has submitted the planning application, though, insists the plant, which would convert vegetable and plants oils into electricity, would be “completely sustainable”.
EGP chief executive Mike Reynolds said: “Our proposed power station will operate under the terms of an Environment Agency license with set limits for air emissions and noise.
“As part of our planning application we have undertaken a detailed air quality assessment using exact operational data from the type of engine we plan to use to generate electricity at Shoreham.
“The fuel will be transported direct to the site by ship rather than road, with only 12 HGV visits to site per month, as included in our transport assessment, which is also part of our planning application.”
Mr Taylor said biofuels were not a green alternative to fossil fuels.
He said: “Transporting and burning biofuels or biomass has devastating effects on people and the environment both in the UK and around the world.”
Mr Reynolds said the £20million plant, which could generate 32 mega watts of electricity an hour, enough to power 18,000 homes, would be fuelled by “independently audited vegetable and plant oils and animal fats which aren’t fit for human consumption.
“These are required to meet the sustainability criteria within the Renewable Obligation published by OFGEM in December, 2011, the Government scheme designed to encourage generation of electricity from renewable sources.
“We have also agreed a clause will be written into our lease with Shoreham Port stating we will not be able to ship in primary vegetable oils to the port, which are fit for human consumption.
A spokeswoman for the company added EGP was in talks with Adur council, which is due to decide on the application later this year, to answer any queries.
To view the plans, reference AWDM/0868/12, go to www.adur.gov.uk