The MP for Sittingbourne and Sheppey, Gordon Henderson, learnt how biomass powered by waste wood can contribute to the UK’s energy security and net zero goals on a visit to MVV Environment’s Ridham Dock facility in Kent.

The 25MW combined heat and power (CHP) biomass plant opened in 2015 and processes 195,000 tonnes of end of life, post-consumer waste wood each year into renewable electricity. It can also produce renewable heat.

Paul Carey, Managing Director UK at MVV Environment, provided an overview of the operation and discussed the potential for the facility to become carbon negative through the introduction of carbon capture and storage technology (CCS).

Mr Henderson was then given a tour of the facility before finally hearing about the wider waste wood industry and its important role in the circular economy from Richard Coulson, Chair of the Wood Recyclers’ Association (WRA).

The visit last month (July 21) was organised by MVV and held in partnership with the WRA, as part of the WRA’s ongoing MP engagement work to improve understanding of the wood recycling industry.

Gordon Henderson said: “I was delighted to visit MVV’s waste wood-fuelled biomass plant in Ridham today and to learn how the plant uses waste wood from across the South East to produce renewable energy. This is a perfect example of how North Kent is leading the way in the green economy.

“I was also interested to hear how this plant could contribute to carbon reduction targets through the introduction of carbon capture and storage technology.”

Paul Carey said: “It was a pleasure to show Gordon Henderson MP around our biomass plant today and to explain the potential for us to become carbon negative. With the right support, we could make a significant contribution to the government’s decarbonisation targets.”

Richard Coulson, Chair of the WRA, said: “Government policy has helped our sector to grow and the plant at Ridham is a great example of the many benefits our sector provides.

“Energy recovery from waste wood in the UK can provide 3.3TWh of reliable low carbon baseload power each year and is already making huge carbon savings, making us a vital part of the energy supply chain.

“With the right tools in place, our industry can continue to provide these benefits and play an important role in meeting future energy security and net zero goals.”

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