Biomass plant work to begin in Manjimup

Tari JeffersManjimup-Bridgetown Times

Commencement of the biomass plant is set to begin this week after the Manjimup Shire Council last week voted for a planning approval extension.

Work planned to be completed this month includes site establishment at the Eastbourne Road location, demolition of existing structures and associated underground services and a survey of the area.

Depending on approvals from Department of Parks and Wildlife, work from late March to May will involve earthmoving equipment for early site levelling and preparation for civil construction.

WA Biomass director Richard Harris said he was pleased with the outcome.

“We appreciate the shire gave us the 12-month extension,” he said.

Mr Harris said after the commencement works were completed, the two-year build of the plant would begin late this year.

“We expect the plant will be producing electricity sometime late in 2019,” he said.

Manjimup shire president Paul Omodei said the decision to approve a biomass plant in the region had already been made and emphasised last week’s decision was just a planning extension on a project that goes back to April 2009.

“There are some arguments about emissions and there was quite a campaign opposing the biomass plant,” he said.

“Biomass is one industry that could generate significant jobs and I don’t think it will affect the horticultural clean, green image.”

The biomass plant would use accredited plantation bluegum and pine residue timber as the power station’s fuel.

Under the council’s decision, WA Biomass will not receive further planning approvals past April 19 next year.

WA Biomass has already invested about $22 million into the project.

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