E.ON UK has given the final go-ahead to its #90m 44MW dedicated biomass power station[1] which will be built at Lockerbie in Scotland and help create over 300 jobs.

The scheme, which will be able to supply enough green power to meet the needs of around 70,000 homes and displace the emission of 140,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases every year, will be the UK's largest dedicated biomass station? when completed. Work should start on the project later this year, with commercial operation expected at the Dumfries & Galloway plant in December 2007.

Dr Paul Golby, Chief Executive of E.ON UK, said: "This is a major project for us and for Scotland because biomass is a carbon neutral fuel with huge potential for both electricity generation and for farmers growing the crops we can burn. "Lockerbie is also further evidence of our commitment to helping both the UK Government and the Scottish Executive to meet their tough green energy targets. "The project will also be creating hundreds of jobs, both directly and indirectly, in the local area and we at E.ON are committed to using local producers for our fuel needs."

The biggest of the National Lottery distributors, the Big Lottery Fund, supported the development of the new biomass plant with a grant of #18m from the Bioenergy Capital Grants Scheme. The 220,000 oven-dried tonnes of fuel required for the station every year will come from the local area, with initial contracts likely to be for forestry residue. Within four years of operation, it is expected that up to 45,000 oven-dried tonnes a year will come from willow harvested by local farmers. It is estimated that the power station, which will be located at Steven's Croft, will create 40 direct jobs and 300 indirect jobs in forestry and farming. E.ON UK will be working with a consortium of Siemens and Kvaerner to build the power station, having first started development of the project in January 2003 and receiving outline planning permission in July 2004.