Firm heeds feedback on energy plant

CalaChem has listened to the public and altered its plans for the new energy plant at its Earls Road site
CalaChem has listened to the public and altered its plans for the new energy plant at its Earls Road site

A chemical company has taken the views of residents into account and adapted its £150 million plans for a vital in-house energy plant.

Proposals for CalaChem’s combined heat and power (CHP) plant, which the firm hopes will replace its existing outdated facility, will go out to a second round of public consultation next month, giving people a chance to view the updated plans for the site in Earls Road, Grangemouth.

The new energy centre is actually a modern upgrade and will see the current burning of fossil fuels replaced with Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) currently being produced in Scotland.

A CalaChem spokesperson said: “As part of the formal consultation process, the initial exhibitions took place in July last year and the feedback received at that time has been incorporated into the latest proposals.

“The proposed modern plant will enhance CalaChem’s international competitiveness and operational reliability and this will help secure existing jobs and control overall energy costs, meaning both CalaChem and other local businesses can stay in Grangemouth and remain a valuable economic asset to the region.

“As well as supporting existing companies, this facility may also provide an additional incentive for new companies to move onto the Earls Gate Park.”

Visitors to the latest exhibitions, which begin next week, will also be able to discuss the approach to the Environmental Impact Assessment, what restrictions and controls will be in place for deliveries of fuel, as well as further information on how the plant will operate.

The public exhibitions will take place from 10am to 7pm at Grangemouth Town Hall, in Bo’ness Road, on Friday, March 4 and Saturday, March 5 and from 10am to 8pm at Trinity Church, just off High Street, Falkirk on Monday, March 7.

Last year, CalaChem estates and utilities manager John Walker said: “We have been manufacturing in Grangemouth for almost a century and we are seeking to secure our future here.

“We explored a variety of options for our energy supply and the proposed new energy centre was by far the best choice in terms of both environmental and business advantages – protecting jobs and controlling overall energy costs.

“The existing plant does not meet the energy needs of the site. Not only will the new plant reduce our energy costs, it will also help the Scottish Government meet its zero waste targets because we will be burning RDF rather than having it go to landfill.

“The green energy process is one of the cleanest and most stringently controlled combustion methods available and we are excited about the benefits it will bring to both CalaChem and other companies on our site”

Construction work on the new plant, if it is granted planning approval, will begin this year and be complete by 2018. German firm Standardkessel Baumgarte, a world leader in combustion technologies, is on board to carry out the work.