MWH Treatment has been named as the company that will build the new £48 million Birmingham Bio Power plant.

The scheme, which will be the first power station in the UK that uses a novel gasification technology to convert discarded wood into electricity, is being part-funded by the government's Green Investment Bank (GIB).

A consortium that comprises Balfour Beatty, Eternity Capital Management and GCP Infrastructure Fund will also be contributing millions of pounds towards the scheme.

Via the Foresight Group's UK Waste Resources and Energy Investments fund, the GIB will be providing more than £6 million of the total budget for the project.

Business secretary Vince Cable stated that the deal is set to create more than 100 jobs and boost the local supply chain. He added: "It is encouraging to see this innovative new technology coming to the UK for the first time. This investment will create green jobs and help the environment by reducing carbon emissions and converting wood diverted from landfill into cleaner energy for thousands of homes and businesses."

Nexterra Systems will provide the gasification system for the new plant and MWH Treatment will handle the design of the project, as well as build the power station and maintain it. It will be built on the Webster and Horsfall site.

Carbonarius, which is a joint venture between Stoke-on-Trent technology developer O-Gen and property firm The Una Group, is responsible for the development of the new power plant.

Over the course of the 20-year lifetime of the power station, GIB estimates that it will avoid 2.1 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent being released into the UK's atmosphere. Some 1.3 million tonnes of wood are also going to be saved from landfill thanks to the new plant.

UK GIB chief executive Shaun Kingsbury stated that he is pleased the investment bank has been able to support the project. He added he hopes "it offers a positive demonstration effect that others will follow".

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