The plant is expected to be operational by 2009 and will consume 350,000 tonnes of biomass a year, reducing UPM‘s annual carbon emissions by 75,000 tonnes. UPM Tilhill said it would source biomass from local suppliers, but also from across the UK.

UPM Tilhill timber operations director Peter Whitfield said: “In line with energy saving principles, we are keen to secure biomass supplies from private woodlands and forests in Scotland and within the UK. In addition we are eager to source biomass from our key wood processing partners in Scotland to keep emissions and transportation to a minimum.”

UPM Tilhill managing director Steve Lavery said: “This project is an extension of our involvement with other large bioenergy projects, particularly UPM’s other renewable energy boiler at Shotton Paper Mill in North Wales, and offers the UK’s forest and woodland owners a new and exciting sustainable market for their timber.”

UPM said the new plant will help the Scottish Executive to achieve its 2010 national renewable generation target of 18%.