The Public Inquiry on Forth Energy’s application for a biomass energy plant in Grangemouth will be the first biomass inquiry in the UK to look at sustainability. The inquiry starts 21 May 2012 at the Grange Manor Hotel in Grangemouth.

A coalition of environmental campaigners and community councils, led by Grangemouth Community Council, have joined forces to oppose the plans for a large scale biomass operation.

Walter Inglis, Convener of Grangemouth Community Council, said: “Local residents need to join the fight against Forth Energy’s Biomass Power Pant Proposals at the Port of Grangemouth. I am urging residents to back the efforts of their community council by attending the Public Inquiry due to commence on Monday 21st May at 10am in the Grange Manor Hotel Glensburgh Road.

“986 letters of objection were submitted in relation to this application and none of support. Now is the time to back up those objections and ensure that these proposals do not come to fruition.”

Walter Attwood, a Friends of the Earth Stirling activist, said: “Forth Energy, at their Grangemouth plant, intend to burn 1.5m tonnes of woody biomass a year.

“This is not sustainable and will bring about serious local environmental degradation, adverse climate change outcomes and, in some places in the world, the growing of this type of fuel will also have adverse social effects.

“Some of the plantations that are being created to produce the wood required by energy companies in Europe, are over 70 square miles in size. They are taking land from the local people and like the Highland Clearances forcing them away from their homes, landholdings and sources of food and income onto more marginal land.”

Emilia Hanna, Biofuelwatch, said: This is the first time that a Public Inquiry on biomass in the UK will cover the issue of sustainability. This is an absolutely crucial issue, and Biofuelwatch is grateful to have the opportunity to comment on this issue through the inquiry.

“Every six years the Grangemouth power station will burn the equivalent of the UK’s total annual wood production.

“Burning so much wood will mean more deforestation, more carbon emissions and will be a step back in the fight against climate change.”

The Public Inquiry takes place 21-24 May and 28-31 May.

ENDS

For media enquiries, please contact: Per Fischer, Press Office, Friends of the Earth Scotland
 t: 0131 243 2719

Notes to Editors

1. Grangemouth Biomass Energy Plant Public Inquiry
www.falkirk.gov.uk/about_council/news/biomass_energy_plant.aspx

2. The Public Inquiry takes place 21-24 May and 28-31 May, at the Grange Manor Hotel Glensburgh Road. For a map, see
www.grangemanor.co.uk/directions.htm

3. Friends of the Earth Scotland is * Scotland’s leading environmental campaigning organisation * An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland * Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 77 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups – covering every continent.
www.foe-scotland.org.uk