New Report Reveals Dangers and Inconsistencies in Uskmouth Power Station Plans

For immediate release 5th April 2018

For further info: Elizabeth Snook, Biofuelwatch

07595 506673 lizthesnook@googlemail.com

 

New Report Reveals Dangers and Inconsistencies in Uskmouth Power Station Plans

A new report launched today by Biofuelwatch brings into question the plans revealed last winter for Uskmouth Power station, Newport. The research undermines both the credibility of the claims to convert the former coal station to run on burning waste, and raises the alarm about the ‘alternatives’ SIMEC Atlantis may have in mind. Elizabeth Snook explained:

“The plans that SIMEC Atlantis presented last year just don’t add up. They’re claiming that they can convert the oldest and least efficient power station in the country to burn waste rather than coal, when Drax, the newest and most efficient station couldn’t get their facility to burn anything but virgin wood (1). Not even the producers of their proposed waste pellet suppliers claim to have run trials (2). Yet the budget they’ve announced is inadequate for them to deliver even the more familiar conversion to biomass (burning wood).”

Biofuelwatch undertook the analysis because of concerns that burning anything at Uskmouth would be unsustainable and have dangerous health impacts in the area. Elizabeth added:

“It’s amazing that the company might try to give either biomass or waste incineration a green gloss, when both would be disastrous for climate change targets and have a potentially devastating impact on local air quality and health.”

There will be a public meeting in the Share Centre, Newport, on the evening of Thursday 19th April from 7:30pm – 8:30pm to present the findings in more detail and explore responses. It will be chaired by Alyson Austin of the United Valleys Action Group (3) which successful campaign to stop a proposed incinerator in Merthyr Tydfil in 2011. She explained:

“Burning rubbish can potentially generate as much, if not more, carbon emissions than than fossil fuels such as coal. It discourages recycling and can emit significant levels of toxins such as dioxins and furans, Nitrogen Oxides (NOx), and ultra-fine particles. Dioxins are a group of chemicals that are carcinogenic and act as endocrine disruptors. Put them into the air in a residential area like Newport and people can get ill. Fine particulates can penetrate deep into the lungs and cross the blood/brain barrier. It’s a terrible plan, but it’s far from a forgone conclusion, now is a great time to be asking questions. We really need to fully understand what will be used to fuel this plant”

SIMEC Atlantis are yet to fully formalise their formation and ownership of the plant (4). They are also responsible for the UK’s leading tidal power projects, including the Swansea Tidal Lagoon, giving them a real choice to invest in employment and genuine renewables in the region.

Notes to editors

1) Burning Biomass – wood in the instance of former coal power stations, is currently driving the destructions of forests which would otherwise help mitigate against climate change, as well as destroying global biodiversity hotspots. Coastal hardwood forests in the southern US (currently the UKs main biomass sourcing region) are being clearcut, with increasing amounts of the wood being turned into pellets. The communities around these pellet mills suffer noise, dust and air pollution.

2) See the full report on www.biofuelwatch.org.uk for more details.

3) United Valleys Action Group is a fully constituted community action group that has been operating in the Heads of the Valleys zone for over 7 years. They work with the community on issues of social and environmental justice that affect the upper Welsh Valleys communities, and sometimes beyond.

4) For more detail see http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/193050/atlantis-resources-making-good-progress-on-uskmouth-power-station-acquisition-193050.html