Edinburgh Today

Leith Docks

Biomass Plant

Proposals Criticised

A proposal by Forth Energy to build a  360m biomass plant at Imperial Dock, Leith, to meet most of Edinburgh's energy needs, has been criticised by green groups after it was revealed that it was to be powered by woodchip shipped from Scandinavia and  North America.

Edinburgh Evening News, February 122, 2010,  pp.6-7

Health Fears

Edinburgh City Council Leader Jenny Dawe has expressed concerns that fumes from the proposed biomass plant might cause a health hazard for workers and local residents, and stall the wider regeneration of the waterfront area.

Edinburgh Evening News, March 22, 2010, p.6

For and Against

An article in the Evening News on March 29 set out arguments for and against the proposed development.

Arguments in favour were advanced by Forth Energy, the company formed by Fort Ports and Scottish & Southern Energy.

Arguments against it were advanced by Leith LInks' Residents' Association.

Arguments included the following:


-  Forth Ports have plans to invest 1.7bn in four renewable energy plants.  These would be at the ports of Leith, Grangemouth, Dundee and Rosyth and would have a total capacity of up to 500 megawatts, enough to power more than a million homes.

-  The plants would be fuelled by sustainably sourced biomass, so would be a contribution towards the Scottish Government's target of 50% of Scotland's electricity being supplied from renewable sources by 2020.

-  This is an ambitious project.  It would have a positive impact on Leith, creating 250 construction jobs and 60 operational jobs.

-  Leith is in an ideal location for the plant, having excellent sea and rail links, a deep water port and the capacity to unload the biomass quickly and store it.


-  The plan has been hastily drawn up in response to Forth Ports' difficulty in achieving the returns they expected from the housing developments on their land.

-  The plant would produce harmful, toxic emissions.  It would have a 100m chimney, but the frequent sea fogs in the Forth would result in the emissions not being dispersed.

-  The plant would create light create continuous light and noise pollution.  It would be floodlit, day and night, and articulated lorries would be visiting the plant 24 hours a day.

-  There are plans for a residential Waterfront, but this plant  would not encourage the sale of flats in the area.

-  There are no guarantees that the fuel for the plant would come from sustainable forests.

Edinburgh Evening News, March 29, 2010, p.12


Opposition Mounting

Opposition is growing to Forth Energy's plans for their 360m biomass power plant, which would have a smoke stack up to 100 metres high, at Leith Docks . 

If the project gains approval, the plant is due to be completed by 2015 and will involve the demolition of a B-listed grain silo.

Organisations expressing concern include three community councils, two residents' associations and the environmental organisation, Greener Leith.

Edinburgh Evening News, April 6, 2010, p.17


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