Chief Secretary to the Treasury cuts first turf

JASPERIMAGE_BRIAN SMITH_

Chief Secretary to the Treasury cuts the first turf.

Work starts on £74m Speyside CHP Plant            

Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, has cut the first turf to mark the start of work on a new £74m biomass Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant near Craigellachie on Speyside. The plant will use low grade wood to generate enough renewable energy to power more than 20,000 homes, as well as providing heat for the nearby Macallan distillery to use as part of the distilling process. John Laing and the UK Green Investment Bank have invested £26m in the project. The remaining £48m investment has been raised from bonds guaranteed by Infrastructure UK which is part of HM Treasury. Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said: “The Speyside guarantee is fantastic news for Scotland’s economic future. It will power thousands of homes with clean energy, and also support the whisky industry, a cornerstone of our economy, which brings in billions for Scotland and employs over 10,000 people. “Today, over £3 billion of infrastructure projects have now been brought forward as a result of the UK guarantees scheme and £35 billion worth of projects are pre-qualified. Our action is creating the right conditions for more investment in our infrastructure and helping to build a stronger economy.” Marcus Whately from Speyside Renewable Energy Partnership, said: “This is a major milestone for us as a company, but it is also a significant economic opportunity for the local area. So we’re delighted to be joined by representatives from the community as we start work on a plant which will provide local jobs and generate green energy.” Contracts have already been signed with a number of timber suppliers, who will provide fuel for the plant, which will use sustainable forestry by-product sourced from the local area, one of the UK’s most productive forestry areas. The project will create more than 140 jobs, including 100 during construction. This will include twenty three permanent jobs at the plant itself and a similar number in the local forestry and transport sectors. Construction will take around 18 months and the plant is due to open by Autumn 2015.