Forth Energy drops all biomass plans in Scotland – campaigners welcome news but issue warning to new developers

Biofuelwatch media release – for immediate use 27th March 2014

Media contact: Oliver Munnion 07917693337

Forth Energy drops all biomass plans in Scotland – campaigners welcome news but issue warning to new developers

Forth Energy, formerly a joint venture between Forth Ports and SSE, have confirmed that they are dropping plans to build their consented 100MWe biomass power stations in Grangemouth and Rosyth, as well as withdrawing plans for a similar plant in Dundee. [1] Campaigners and community members have expressed their joy at hearing the announcement. Whilst Forth Energy will now be looking to sell their consents at Grangemouth and Rosyth on to other developers, campaigners are warning that any new attempts to revive the plans will be fiercely opposed.

Walter Inglis, formerly Chairperson of Grangemouth Community Council said: “This is certainly good news for us in Grangemouth, as it casts even more doubt on these plans. After having opposed Forth Energy’s plans for so long it’s great to see them walking away. However, the consent remains in place so we’ll be watching closely to make sure no other developers try to take it on.”

Andrew Llanwarne, Co-ordinator of Friends of the Earth Tayside, welcomed the announcement. “This removes a dark shadow which has been hanging over Dundee for the past four years and it’s great news for all who campaigned against the project. It would have been highly inefficient as a means of producing electricity and required enormous Government subsidies of about £1m each year for every job – there must be better ways to create much-needed employment in Dundee.

It would have added to Dundee’s existing problems of air pollution and had a negative visual impact on the waterfront, as Dundee Councillors decided last June. But it would also have made a major contribution to carbon emissions which are disrupting our climate, and had devastating effects on communities and biodiversity in other countries.”

Almuth Ernsting, Biofuelwatch co-Director said: “Forth Energy’s announcement is good news for forests and for local communities who had been facing serious air pollution and health impacts. We strongly hope that the Scottish Government will not back any destructive big biomass power station plans in future and that no other company will want to acquire Forth Energy’s planning consents in Rosyth or Grangemouth.”

Between them, the three plants will have required some 3.5 million tonnes of wood each year, likely to have been sourced from the southern US, where there is strong evidence that pellet producers are clearing ancient wetland forests, driven by demand from Europe and the UK in particular. [2] In addition, major concerns have been raised about the carbon intensity of burning biomass, where recent studies have shown that it is actually worse for the climate than burning coal. [3]

The Grangemouth and Dundee plants were strongly opposed by local residents on numerous grounds, including the air pollution they would have caused and the unsustainability of big biomass electricity.



[1] Reported by the Dundee Courier here: and confirmed over the phone by Forth Energy on 27th March 2014.

[2] US-based Dogwood Alliance have extensively documented the use of whole trees and destruction of ancient wetland forests in the southern US by pellet supplier Envia, who export to the UK. Forth Energy has said in the past that they could source from this area. For more information see Dogwood Alliance campaign “Our forests aren’t fuel” and Biofuelwatch’s new report “Biomass: the Chain of Destruction”

[3] For a list of studies into the carbon impacts of biomass electricity, see In addition, the report “Dirtier than coal?” published by RSPB, Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace can be found here