Tyne & Wear

RES 'ceases work' on £300m Blyth biomass power station

Artist's impression of the project Image copyright RES
Image caption RES has pulled out of the Port of Blyth development, seen here in a computer-generated view

The company behind a £300m biomass power station in Northumberland says it is ceasing work on the development.

North Blyth Energy Ltd was given permission last July to build the plant at the Port of Blyth.

But parent company RES has now blamed the government's "inconsistent support for dedicated biomass energy".

A Department of Energy and Climate Change spokesman said the UK is "one of the most attractive places to invest in renewable energy".

When the plans for the station were submitted, the company said it would provide enough low carbon electricity to supply up to 170,000 homes a year - equal to all the homes in the county.

Gordon MacDougall, RES' chief operating officer for the UK, said: "The North Blyth Biomass Power Station currently faces insurmountable investment barriers due to uncertain government energy policy.

"The gradual erosion of support for dedicated biomass leaves us with no other option."

The firm's statement said a key project partner had withdrawn late last year as a result of the government's stance.

'Commercial decision'

RES had said the development at Battleship Wharf would have created 300 construction jobs as well as 50 full-time operational roles at the plant, which would have burned wood-based fuel.

A Department of Energy and Climate Change spokesman said: "We are disappointed that RES have decided not to take this project forward.

"However, this is a commercial decision.

"The UK is one of the world's most attractive places to invest in renewable energy, ranking second in the world for biomass.

"Our electricity market reforms will deliver at least £40bn of investment in renewables between now and 2020, providing enough power for 10 million homes."

Construction of the plant was expected to begin this year.

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