U.K. environmentalists urge MPs to halt E.ON's controversial £120M wood-fueled biomass power plant in Sheffield even though construction has already started

LOS ANGELES , March 19, 2012 () – U.K. environmentalists concerned about E.ON UK Plc's £120 million Blackburn Meadows wood-biomass power plant in Sheffield, England, are urging the area's elected representatives to try to stop construction, which has already started, Ninemsn reported March 19.

The Breathe Clean Air Group, based in Manchester, said particulates and toxic chemicals from the plant endanger public health. They said Members of Parliament can stop the plant even construction has already begun.

The biomass facility is expected to be completed in mid-2014 and to provide power for 40,000 homes.

Tim Forrest, E.ON's head of biomass, said the facility will use the latest pollution-reduction technology to meet strict European Union standards. He said the company had already performed an air quality assessment.

Peter Kilvert, chairman of Breathe Clean Air, said the burning of biomass produces 50% more carbon dioxide than coal and 330% more than burning natural gas, andthat the biomass plant would result in forest destruction for fuel, Ninemsn reported.

However, Forrest said burning biomass substantially reduces production of carbon, sulfur and nitrogen oxide as compared to coal. He added that Blackburn Meadows would use recycled waste wood and low-grade wood. If not used for fuel, those waste products would go to landfills and eventually produce methane, which Forrest said was a worse greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

E.ON UK is a division of Düsseldorf, Germany-based power company E.ON.

The primary source of this article is Ninemsn, Sydney, Australia, on March 19, 2012.

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