I AM appalled by the announcement today that plans are afoot to build an incineration plant on Portland. Having spent 20 years in the fuel industry in research and development, I hope your readers will accept that I am reasonably capable of criticising it. I am not assuaged by the published assurances made by Giles Frampton, director of Powerfuel Portland.

The ‘£35 million palm oil power plant W4B abandoned because of palm oil costs’ he quotes was fortuitous since it’s now widely recognised that palm oil production is devastating the Amazonian rain forest.

Building and operating waste processing plants such as incinerators requires long contract periods to recover initial investment costs, causing a long-term lock-in. Incinerator lifetimes normally range from 25–30 years.

This was highlighted by Peter Jones, OBE, the Mayor of London’s waste representative in April 2009.

Prevention, waste minimisation, reuse and recycling of waste should all be preferred to incineration according to the waste hierarchy.

Supporters of zero waste consider incinerators and other waste treatment technologies as barriers to recycling and separation beyond particular levels, and that waste resources are sacrificed for energy production.”

Portland is a windy place and its citizens will perhaps have less to worry about the fallout of unpleasant substances downwind.

Those in Dorchester, Poole and Bournemouth should rightly have a say in the matter. Incidentally’ £35 million could convert 4,500 houses to solar panels with no on-going costs.

Once constructed an incinerator would continue to demand waste regardless of subsequent preferred options.

For example, nuclear power is now much more expensive than wind power and solar energy production but it was once the only alternative. We’re stuck with it!

Mike Joslin

Garfield Avenue