The Snetterton Renewable Energy Plant is a 44.2MW straw-fired biomass power plant located between Thetford and Attleborough, in Norfolk. The Project is located in the heart of straw production in the UK (Norfolk) and will have a significant proportion of its annual fuel requirements secured under 12-year agreements. Originally developed by Iceni Energy Ltd, the Snetterton plant achieved planning consent in July 2012. Iceni Energy Ltd joined forces with Eco2 Ltd in May 2013 to take the project forward to financial close. The plant generated first power in spring 2017.
The project was developed as a joint venture with Iceni Energy Ltd. The plant was sold in 2014 to BWSC Power Corporation Limited, a collaboration between Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor A/S (BWSC) and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (BPCL).
When Iceni Energy and Eco2 joined forces the Eco2 team led the development of the project including negotiating the property agreements, securing a new planning consent and grid connection and agreeing the EPC contract.
The grid connection for the Snetterton plant was complicated and Eco2 managed the process from start to finish with UK Power Networks. The closest 33kV Electrical substation to the plant was located in the town of Diss which was approximately 11.5 miles away. The cable route for the connection was positioned within the local authority highway wherever possible; however the route still required 3 separate private easements with land owners and a crossing consent from Network Rail. The development team at Eco2 managed the process of securing all the easements required for the connection to proceed.
Eco2 manages the fuel procurement for the project under a Management Services Agreement with BWSC PCL. The fuel is purchased from within 50 miles of the plant and represents a £10 million investment into the local area. The plant can accept up to 50% woodchip and Eco2 is responsible for the fuel strategy to ensure that the fuel is procured in the most cost effective way for the project.
The power plant is a new industry in the local community and will need between 200 – 300 people to work on the site during the construction phase and around 30 permanent members of staff to operate and maintain the energy plant once commissioned. The plant is committed to ensuring this benefits the local community as much as possible, so will endeavour to employ local people to fill these jobs. During the construction phase 95% of the construction employees were from the UK.