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Suffolk village site for incinerator

PUBLISHED: 11:55 12 February 2009 | UPDATED: 22:26 05 July 2010

A £100m incinerator that would generate electricity from burning straw supplied by local farmers could be built near a Suffolk village, creating scores of new jobs and providing a major boost to the rural economy.

A £100m incinerator that would generate electricity from burning straw supplied by local farmers could be built near a Suffolk village, creating scores of new jobs and providing a major boost to the rural economy.

The operation would be located on agricultural land which has been used to grow wheat to the north west of Mendlesham Airfield Industrial Estate, would cost £100m to build, create 30 full-time jobs operating the facility and require 50 workers, some seasonal, working areas including transport and straw bailing.

The development is for applicant Eco2 Central Ltd and would be based around a boiler house and three fuel storage barns, two for straw and one for wood, with a stack estimated at being between 50 to 60 metres high. The facility would include a steam turbine to generate electricity.

A spokesman for Eco2 said: "The biomass facility would comprise four main buildings, of which the largest would be the boiler house. It would have an electricity generating capacity of 40MW and would use circa 240,000 tonnes per annum of biomass, primarily bailed straw, from the local area.

"Eco2 is presently securing contracts for the straw fuel which would be sourced from within a 50 mile radius of the facility. Contract for fuel supply would be based upon a 12 year initial commitment and result in an annual investment into the agricultural economy of over £7 million.

"Whilst the vast majority of fuel would be straw, the plant would be able to accept a modest proportion of other biomass, such as willow coppice. Any woody material delivered to the site would be in a chipped form."

Tim Passmore, leader of Mid Suffolk District Council which is being consulted on the development, said: "This could provide a very useful source of renewable energy, and no doubt there will be jobs, during what is a very difficult economic situation.

"It is very early days, but I am very pleased to look at this. This is good news for workers and the rural economy, assuming it meets all the environmental requirements."

Mid Suffolk District Council has received a detailed report and plans outlining the proposal and some of the issues, and now has to agree the scope of an environmental impact assessment.

The company intends to submit a planning application during the summer and if successful by the end of the year, says construction will take about three years, with the site operational by 2012.

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