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Work commences on wood pellet plant in Wales

In Llangefni, Wales, UK, wood fuel supply company EcoPellets of Cork, Ireland, and energy firm Integrated Energy Systems International are now moving ahead with a pellet production facility and a 30MW biomass-fired power plant.

The project, expected to be one of Europe's largest wood pellet plants, was announced in 2009 but developments came to a halt while waiting for approval on the 30MW power line that would connect the development to the island of Anglesey's electric grid. Approval has now been granted.

'We have broken that situation as there will be a 30MW line connected here and that will open up the whole distribution for the island,' says John O'Shea, managing director of Integrated Energy Systems International. 'The electrical connection has taken a long time because we first had to carry out a major study of how renewable energy might look in Wales. The problem here, not just for this site but for Anglesey in general, is that despite there being a big nuclear power plant, getting electricity own to local level is becoming more and more difficult.'

The companies have now submitted a planning application to Anglesey County Council for the construction of a 250,000 tonne a year wood pelleting plant, which would manufacture wood pellets from a large supply of local forest materials. The project will also feature a 17MW co-generation biomass plant and a 14MW liquid biomass plant, which will be able to generate enough electricity to benefit 50,000 households.

It is hoped the wood pellet plant will be completed by the end of 2012, with the two power plants scheduled for completion in 2013.

'Anglesey is well placed to become a hub for low carbon energy generation, given its location, wealth of natural resources and skills base, both here and across the wider region,' says Carwyn Jones, the first minister of Wales.