Joint Press Release by Biofuelwatch and Pembrokeshire Friends of the Earth
Campaigners obtain evidence that company directors behind Milford Haven plans for a waste and biomass gasifiers were behind a smaller, failed development using that same technology
27th January 2017 – A Biofuelwatch Freedom of Information request has revealed that directors of Egnedol, the company which wants to build a large waste and gasification plant in Milford Haven, were behind a failed pilot gasification scheme built to test the same technology elsewhere in Wales (1).
The pilot gasification plant, built in Rhymney Valley, started operations after it was granted an Environmental Permit in October 2008. Evidence released by Natural Resources Wales shows that it has not been running at all since 2009 (2). The Rhymney Valley plant was developed by a company called Hudol Thermal Ltd. Their officers at the time were the three directors who now run Egnedol UK Ltd (3). Two of them are also directors of the consultancy firm Excal, which prepared Hudol Thermal’s permit application back in 2007, and which has helped prepare Egnedol’s planning documents (4).
Environmental campaigners from Pembrokeshire Friends of the Earth and Biofuelwatch had previously warned that Egnedol’s gasification technology is unproven and carries a high risk of failure.
Almuth Ernsting from Biofuelwatch states: “We previously said that Egnedol has no experience at all with gasification technology. Now we know that the situation is even worse: their directors already have a failed gasification scheme using the same technology on their record. This evidence has been so well hidden that we only discovered it after detailed Companies House searches and a Freedom of Information request”.
Eleanor Clegg from Pembrokeshire Friends of the Earth adds: “This new information must be a waking up call for the Welsh Assembly Government and for planners. Turning a big site in Milford Haven over to an experimental technology which has already failed in the hands of the same company directors would be irresponsible.”
Eleanor Clegg Tel. 01437 532575, Email: email@example.com
Almuth Ernsting Tel: 0131-6232600, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
1) All of the documents obtained by Biofuelwatch from Natural Resources Wales can be downloaded from www.biofuelwatch.org.uk/2017/hudol-thermal .
2) Hudol Thermal’s Rhymney plant was referred to as an “existing plant” as late as 2012 (e.g. www.democracy.caerphilly.gov.uk/Data/Planning%20Committee/201212051700/Agenda/4(f)%20Applications%20under%20the%20Town%20and%20Country%20Planning%20Act%20-%20046242.pdf). This suggests that it must have been commissioned at one point and that it was not officially mothballed even at that time – despite the fact that it could not be operated after 2009.
(3) According to Companies House records (beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/, accessed 15th January 2017) , the directors of Hudol Thermal Ltd in 2007-2009 were Robert Marshall Prigmore and Steven Whitehouse, and the secretary was Alwyn Bowen. Those three are currently Egnedol UK Ltd.’s directors. Robert Marshall Prigmore is also a director of Egnedol Wales Ltd, and both he and Steven Whitehouse are directors of Egnedol Pembroke Eco-Power Ltd.
(4) The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for Egnedol’s Milford Haven application, found at https://acp.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/ViewCase.aspx?Caseid=3146073&CoID=0 refers Excal as a consultancy commissioned by Egnedol for the purpose of this EIA. Excal is referred to in the permit documents obtained and published by Biofuelwatch (biofuelwatch.org.uk/2017/hudol-thermal