Eco2 – committed to the future of renewable energy

Western Wood Energy Plant

  • Courtesy of A.W. Jenkinson © 2013
  • © Eco2 2013
  • © Eco2 2013
  • © Eco2 2013
  • © Eco2 2013
  • © Eco2 2013

The Western Wood Energy Plant is Wales’ first commercial scale biomass project and generates 14MWe by burning forestry wood and clean wood processing residues in a state-of-the-art combustion plant.

The power station situated in Margam, South Wales is now fully operational following a successful two year construction period. With high load factors it is one of the best performing biomass sites in the UK. It also took the honours in the category of Sustainability at the LABC Building Excellence Awards 2009.

The plant is owned by Western Bioenergy Ltd. Good Energies (UK) LLP is the principal shareholder and local company, the Western Log Group owns the minority interest.

The Western Wood Energy Project was first envisaged by the Western Log Group which has been involved in the timber industry for many years.

Eco2 joined the project in 2004 as a joint venture partner, bringing with it the expertise necessary to put together a suite of construction and finance contracts. Eco2 managed the fuel logistics and administration at the site until February 2014. The project is now owned and managed by Greensphere Capital LLP.

Good Energies (UK) LLP, a leading global investor in the renewable energy and energy efficiency industries, provided the equity and secured debt finance from the Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi to allow the construction to commence. The project’s renewable energy credentials also allowed it to secure substantial grants from the Welsh European Funding Office and the DTI Bioenergy Capital Grant Scheme.

Construction commenced in October 2006 for the two year build phase, the first electricity was generated in July 2008 and the plant became fully operational and was handed over to Western Bioenergy Ltd in November 2008. The plant is operated by the Western Biomass Operating Company Ltd, a subsidiary of the build consortium who won a five year operating concession in open tender.

The Forestry Commission is the largest single fuel supplier to the plant and is one of a number of companies who have entered into long term supply agreements with Western Bioenergy Ltd. The majority of the fuel is sourced from the Welsh forests and timber industries.

The Plant is designed to only use clean wood as fuel; no contaminated material (for example, treated or painted timber) is accepted under the terms of the operating permit. By burning this sustainable fuel, some 47,000 tonnes per year of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel are avoided.

Western Wood Energy Site Statistics
Plant Capacity 14MWe
Predicted annual output 110GWh
Electricity equivalent 31,000 homes
Land 6 acres
Project Benefits
Socio-Economic Benefits
  • The Biomass Power Plant has created 20 new jobs employed directly in the operation of the plant, comprising a mix of manual, technical, administration and managerial staff.
Environmental Benefits
  • The energy produced by the plant is virtually 'carbon dioxide neutral' - reducing emissions of carbon dioxide by 47,000 tonnes each year.