Grangemouth biomass plant could still go ahead

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Opponents of Forth Energy’s stalled plans for a £465 million biomass plant fear the proposal could still go ahead.

The hunt is now on for a new operator for the project which was to be built on land within the Port of Grangemouth before Forth Energy pulled out of the project last week.

For those who fought against the plans, it was a victory of sorts. But with planning consent still in place they know the biomass plant could still go ahead.

Walter Inglis, former convener of Grangemouth Community Council, said: “I don’t actually see it as time for a celebration, but I give it a guarded welcome.

“Forth Energy will look to try and pass the planning consent they have been given on to another company so it could still happen.

“The vast majority of the Grangemouth community were against it in the first place, so I’m quite happy to see the situation stalling. But you can’t jump in and say this will be the end of it.”

The Scottish Government granted permission for the Forth Energy project after a public inquiry in 2012, but now the very future of the plant is in doubt.

Forth Energy, a joint venture involving Forth Ports and Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE), announced last Wednesday it was withdrawing from the scheme due to SSE’s decision to concentrate on its core business of electricity supplies and moving away from biomass, wind and wave power schemes because of doubts about their viability.

Forth Energy stated: “We confirm we are not continuing with plans to develop the Grangemouth wood fuelled renewable energy project. We are investigating options to attract other developers to take the project forward.”

Forth Energy has also pulled out of a similar project in Rosyth and withdrawn its application for another proposed biomass plant in Dundee.