A POWER producer specialising in energy-from-waste and biomass has officially opened Ince Bio Power.

The milestone was marked with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the plant, officiated by Councillor Michael Edwardson, the Mayor of Ellesmere Port, and was attended by stakeholders and partners of the project.

The Bioenergy Infrastructure Group (“BIG”) owned facility, which is located near Ellesmere Port, is the largest plant of its kind operating in the UK.

It uses advanced thermal treatment (ATT) technology - otherwise known as gasification – which is an alternative to incineration that turns waste into a combustible gas by heating it in a low oxygen environment. BIG’s plants at Energy Works Hull in East Yorkshire and Levenseat in Lanarkshire also use the same ATT technology.

About 150 jobs were created during the construction of Ince Bio Power and the plant is now operated by 28 full-time employees.

The Ince facility is located within Protos, a £700m energy hub owned by Peel L&P Environmental. BIG also controls a co-located waste wood processing facility at Protos with its fuel supply partner. Together with BIG’s waste wood plant at nearby Widnes, these facilities dominate the regional demand for waste wood fuels.

Hamish McPherson, chief executive officer, Bioenergy Infrastructure Group, said: “This is not only an important milestone for Ince, but also represents a key step forward in the development of renewable energy in the UK. I would like to thank all our contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and partners for their contribution and support throughout this process.”

Councillor Michael Edwardson, the mayor of Ellesmere Port, said: “I am delighted to be here to mark the launch of the operational status of the Ince Bio Power Facility. Ince will generate clean, base-load renewable energy for the people of the north-west England. This is an important moment in the development of gasification facilities in the UK, which are a sustainable alternative to incineration.”