Canadian Biomass Magazine

Welsh Power nears decision on biomass plant

March 5, 2013
By Argus Media

March 5, 2013, London, UK — U.K. utility Welsh Power plans to make a final investment decision on its 50MW Nevis Power biomass-fired plant in Newport in the next few months.

The project was previously delayed pending the announcement by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) of final renewable obligation certificate (Roc) bands from 2013. The levels of support for dedicated biomass-fired plants have now been confirmed and the utility told Argus that it hopes to make progress on the project this summer.

“As long as the policy remains the same we should be in a position to progress with the project,” a spokeswoman said. “A lot of dedicated plants are in a similar situation to us and right now we are working towards financial close and expect to come to a solution in the next three months.”

Welsh Power originally targeted a financial investment decision on the project by the end of 2011, with construction to start in the first quarter of 2012. But this was delayed because of regulatory uncertainty following Decc's decision to delay the announcement of the new Roc bands.

The utility has signed a supply contract with a North American wood chip producer for feedstock to supply the plant. The wood chips will be discharged at Newport in shipments of up to 44,000t of biomass.


The plant is expected to consume around 380,000 t/yr of wood chips with the power produced exported to the grid.

Under the proposed Roc banding levels, Decc announced that it will implement a 400MW non-legislative capacity cap on new dedicated biomass power-only stations registered under the renewable obligation scheme from 1 April 2013.

Nevis Power would receive 1.5 Rocs/MWh until the end of March 2016, when the subsidy will be reduced to 1.4 Rocs/MWh.

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