Plant building works are expected to begin at the Wittgenstein inter-municipal industry park, in the district of Siegen-Wittgenstein. RWE Innogy Cogen, a subsidiary of RWE Innogy, is the developer of the plant.

The plant’s rated output is expected to be around 30MW of heat and 8MW of electricity. The project represents an investment of around E25 million.

Located in Germany’s most wooded region, the plant will be fired by around 90,000 tonnes of freshly felled timber per year. In addition to forest biomass and residual forest timber, wood from landscape conservation and roadside greenery will also be used.

Primary construction work has been initiated by Erndtebruck-based contractors, Musse and Berge-Bau. The structural steelwork for the boiler will be erected by Weiss-Kessel, and the work is due to begin in October 2008.

Stephan Lohr, managing director of RWE Innogy Cogen, said: Our combined heat and power (CHP) plant achieves up to 70% efficiency by generating heat and electricity together. Using wood as fuel, we also save a lot of CO2. Compared with a conventional plant, these savings are of the order of 1.2 million tonnes, over an expected 25 years of useful life.