The British utility Yorkshire Water is to build a wood burning power plant, Reuters reports. The plant, to be built at Eggborough, near Selby, will burn wood chips and cultivated willow.

The $50 million prototype plant is being built by Arbre, a joint venture involving Yorkshire Water which holds 85 per cent of the shares, the Swedish company TPS Termiska Processor with 10 per cent and the Netherlands contractor, Royal Schelde Group with 5 per cent.

The project is receiving a grant of $17 million from the European union. It is scheduled to enter service at the end of next year.

The wood-fired power station will have a generating capacity of 10 MW. It will burn wood chips from forest residue and willow and poplar coppice grown specifically for the project. The wood will be harvested under a three year rotational cropping system. Cultivation of wood will provide an outlet for the disposal of Yorkshire Water’s sewage sludge.