Company plans sailing ships to haul biomass
A Northern Ireland-based company plans to build sailing ships to haul woodchips or other biomass to power plants in the British Isles from the Baltic States.
The BBC reports that B9 Shipping of Larne is one of 100 companies that was invited to meet with Prime Minister Gordon Brown Thursday evening, days before the Copenhagen summit on climate change.
B9’s ships would be powered by sails and biogas marine engines. BBC said the sailing ships would prevent the benefits of biomass being canceled out by pollution caused by transportation.
B9 said the Baltic States have an excess supply of biomass derived from sawmill residue, forest residue, brash and sustainably managed short rotation forestry.
The company said anaerobic digestion of food waste and other organic waste streams will produce bio-methane bunker fuel and a B9 plant in Northern Ireland will make 50,000 tons per annum at its plant in Dungannon in Northern Ireland.
But plans for biomass plants have caused controversy in the United Kingdom. Earlier this week protesters opposed to wood burning power plants were arrested in Port Talbot, Wales, for blocking a gate and climbing a chimney stack at a power plant.
Welsh protesters from Climate Camp Cymru said biomass plants in Port Talbot and Holyhead will require an area of dedicated biomass plantations half the size of Wales and that a land area this size could feed up to one-third of the population of Britain. They called burning wood “dirtier than coal” and contended tree plantations are “green deserts” consuming large amounts of water and empty of native wildlife.