Mystery over Sinfin waste wood power plant
MYSTERY surrounds the future of a controversial waste wood plant in Sinfin, which the Environment Agency says "as far as we are aware, is currently closed".
Campaigners had opposed the plant, saying it would create dangerous emissions such as nitrogen dioxide.
They claimed locals with breathing conditions, such as asthma, could see them made worse by the plant.
The site, run by Boyle Electrical Generation and Withion Power, had been using a process called gasification, which involves heat-treating the wood, creating gas which is burned to make electricity.
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Last June, Withion managing director Tony Wood said the plant operated within "strict parameters" set by the Environment Agency.
He said the two firms wanted to create enough electricity for the National Grid to power about 3,000 homes at any one time.
At that point, one generator was running and the firm was looking to have six operating over the following year.
Mr Wood said it was hoped that the site would employ 12 full-time and four temporary workers.
But, on January 29, the Environment Agency confirmed to one of the protestors against the plant, Simon Bacon, that the site had closed.
In a statement, the firm says: "The site is still permitted [to operate]. However, due to financial funding issues, it is currently closed. There is no date for re-starting at the moment."
On Friday, an Environment Agency spokeswoman confirmed it had made this statement and that "as far as we are aware", this was still the case.
She said the current permit meant the site operators could start work again.
The Derby Telegraph tried calling and e-mailing the firm using the details on the plant's website but got no response.
Mr Bacon, chairman of Sinfin and Spondon Against Incineration, said he hoped the plant would remain closed down.
He said: "We are extremely pleased they have had financial difficulties.
"We reported the plant to the Environment Agency in June 2012 because we had concerns about its emissions."
Mr Bacon said emissions from the plant were a particular concern as the site is next to an Air Quality Management Area.
These are places where the Government expects councils to take action over air pollution levels.