Hopes £150 million secures Grangemouth plant’s future

CalaChem is investing �150 in a new waste-burning energy plant which is seen as a more environmentally friendly successor to its existing power plant
CalaChem is investing �150 in a new waste-burning energy plant which is seen as a more environmentally friendly successor to its existing power plant

A local chemical firm believes its £150m investment in a new waste-burning energy facility will provide cheap power and long-term security.

Bosses at CalaChem, in Earls Road, Grangemouth, said its committed to the town and the new energy centre – the proposed successor to the site’s existing fossil fuel burning combined heat and power plant (CHP) – will allow the business to become more competitive in the international marketplace.

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 waste rather than having it go to landfill.”

The new plant is earmarked to be built by German firm Standardkessel Baumgarte, a world leader in combustion technologies, and will burn Scottish-sourced refuse derived fuel (RDF), refined non-recyclable commercial and household waste, to provide energy in the form of heat and electricity.

Mr Walker said: “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.”

The company was criticised in 2012 when it announced it was pinning its hopes for future expansion on a wood-burning biomass facility.

Mr Walker is quick to assure locals this new plan is nothing like Forth Energy’s ill-fated £465 million biomass plant proposed for the Port of Grangemouth.

He said: “That was a power station, the project we are proposing is much smaller and specifically designed to provide energy for the four businesses on our site.

“Plans for this development will not be going before Falkirk Council until the autumn, but we are starting this consultation early because we want to get out there and talk about this with the local community as soon as possible.

“We will be meeting community groups and holding public exhibitions in July.”