A biomass plant which will generate renewable energy for up to 75,000 homes in South Wales has entered commercial operation.

The 40MW Margam Green Energy Plant near Port Talbot is a £160m biomass power station, which utilises waste wood that would otherwise be disposed of to landfill. The project was originated by Eco2 Limited and local company Western Logs Group, before it was acquired in 2015 by Glennmont Partners, one of Europe’s largest renewable energy fund managers.

Construction of the plant began in 2016 and at one stage employed more than 400 people on site. The main contractor, a partnership between Babcock & Wilcox Vølund (B&W) and Interserve, worked alongside a large number of sub-contractors from Wales and other parts of the UK and Europe. The construction management of the power station was led by Eco2.

Working closely with Glennmont, Eco2 now has management responsibility for Margam’s commercial operation, as well as responsibility for its waste wood fuel logistics. B&W has operational and maintenance responsibility for the power plant. 25 people are directly employed at Margam.

Chief Executive of Eco2, Dr David Williams said: “As a project we initially played a part in developing, Eco2 is proud to see Margam Green Energy Plant go into commercial operation to generate renewable energy for thousands of homes in South Wales. We are also pleased to be continuing our involvement in this great project with Glennmont Partners through our Management Services division, which will oversee management of the plant and its fuel supply.”

Eco2’s Managing Director, Daren Williams added: “Eco2 Management Services is a market leader in the management of fuel procurement for biomass and by adding Margam to our portfolio, we now have over 1 million tonnes of straw and wood chip under our management.

“It is fantastic to be able to play a role in such a vital project for Wales’ renewable energy credentials, from its inception right through to operation.”

Peter Dickson, Partner at Glennmont Partners said: “We are very pleased to see Margam fired-up and generating renewable energy for homes and businesses in south Wales. Margam is a long-term investment in Wales’s energy infrastructure. 

“Glennmont has appreciated the hard work of everyone to complete Margam’s construction: the efforts of B&W, Interserve, Eco2 and in particular the commitment shown by so many individual workers on site. We have had challenges along the way but I’m delighted to have reached this moment: seeing Margam generating renewable electricity into the grid.”

Over the past fifteen years, Eco2 has developed extensive experience in developing, building and managing biomass plants primarily across the UK and Europe, accumulating an international development portfolio worth £1.7 billion.

Image: Glennmont Partners