PLANS for a new waste energy plant on Portland have been met by a largely positive reaction.

As reported, the £105 million facility proposed for Portland Port will burn Dorset's rubbish to generate power for 30,000 homes using 'green' technology, according to the company behind the scheme - Dorset-based Powerfuel Portland.

Representatives from the island are remaining open minded ahead of a public exhibition about the scheme being held in December.

Cllr Paul Kimber, Dorset councillor for Portland said: "At the moment I'm open minded, however I really want to know the answer to some questions.

"It sounds good news for the green agenda and providing new quality jobs, as we all know we have a massive issue with waste in Dorset and landfill.

"Road access would be a problem but this could be mitigated by sea transportation. I will also want to know is there any pollution that we may be discharged and what is being burnt.

"I look forward to the presentation on Portland."

Portland Tophill councillor and environmental campaigner Cllr Giovanna Lewis said: "I welcome the concept of Dorset dealing with its own waste on the doorstep the offer of more jobs and hope the 30 long term jobs will provide direct local employment offering good working conditions.

"It is interesting that the area with one of the highest national levels of deprivation could also be dealing with the county's waste.

"Overall turning rubbish into power is a great idea - but we should be reducing the waste we produce in the first place - producing it creates greenhouse gases and then burning it creates a second lot of greenhouse gases - not really a smart way for society to be operating.

"I'm looking forward to public exhibition to find out more."

Portland Underhill councillor Rob Hughes said: "I am trying to arrange a visit to the existing waste power plant that we have in north Dorset in order to have a better understanding of how this idea [for Portland] might work."

A drop-in event is being held at Portland Community Venue on Thursday, December 5 from 2pm - 7pm.

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GILES Frampton from Powerfuel Portland has responded to concerns:


"We are still developing our detailed traffic modelling for the proposed facility. At this stage we are working on a provisional average figure of a delivery every half an hour to the facility which is based on road deliveries only. The port location has been selected so that there is certainly an the very real option to bring the refuse derived fuel or RDF in by ship."

Greenhouses gases caused by burning rubbish

"While recycling rates have improved and are at an all-time high of nearly 60% in Dorset, there is still a huge amount of non-recyclable waste that is produced. This plant deals with the genuine residue after maximum recycling has been done by the person that has created the waste and the waste collection authority. It will not reduce or discourage recycling. Rather than simply landfilling this waste Powerfuel Portland will generate low carbon and partially renewable energy from managing the waste. This approach helps to divert waste from landfill."

Financing the plant

"With high up-front capital cost infrastructure projects at this kind of scale, it is normal for long term infrastructure funding to be brought in. This is often termed “patient capital” since it does not demand a quick high return like private equity money. Rather it takes a long view and looks at a project over its full life, including any significant component replacements to maintain high standards of performance and end-of-life reinstatement costs. These kinds of investors expect a more moderate return and need to be confident the project will always perform as it should. It is likely that an infrastructure fund or pension fund would be involved in the long term."