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Welsh regulator consults on gasification site

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) is consulting with the public on a permit application for a waste wood gasification plant in Barry, Vale of Glamorgan.

The application, from operator Biomass UK No.2, is for a facility which would have the capacity to process 86,400 tonnes a year of pre-processed non-hazardous waste wood.

Vale of Glamorgan Council has already granted the facility planning permission and now the NRW is carrying out an assessment of the company’s application before making a decision on whether to grant an environmental permit.

Nadia De Longhi, NRW operations manager, said some public concerns had been raised over the quality of the waste wood fuel, the effects on air quality and public health, and potential fire risks, and said the regulator vowed to address these before making a decision.

She said: “We have spoken with some of the community at a recent public meeting and are considering the concerns which have been raised in terms of as part of our assessment process.

“We want to give local residents and businesses further opportunities to make representations to us on the application.

“The permitting system is in place to make sure that waste facilities can operate without causing harm or damage to the local environment or the people living and working nearby.

“In our assessment, we’ll be checking to make sure the operator has all the necessary plans in place to make this happen, and we will only grant the permit if we are sure they can operate without doing this.”

The current determination date for the environmental permit is 8 May.

Earlier this month, the regulator refused South Wales Wood Recycling’s permit application for a plant on Baglan Energy Park, near Port Talbot, after concerns about previous fires at the company’s other sites.

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