Six months on from the go-ahead by the Danish Pension Fund the vast metal skeleton of the buildings that will eventually provide all the power and energy needs of Discovery Park is fast taking shape

Progress has been swift since August 2016 when agreement was reached by investors on the £160m required to build the combined heat and powered (CHP) plant on land located on 10 acres of land off Ramsgate Road, Sandwich.

After initial work preparing the site, construction work has stepped up a gear in the New Year with the engineering project remaining on schedule to supply renewable energy in the second half of 2018.

Kent Renewable Energy Ltd is the company leading the project, which will provide 100 per cent green heat and power to tenants at Discovery Park with any excess energy produced being sent to the grid for homes and businesses elsewhere in the county.

The CHP plant equates to £160m of investment for the area and will boost the local economy by creating up to 25 new local jobs, up to 350 jobs during the construction period and further jobs by revitalising the local forestry sector.

Planning permission was granted by Dover District Council in mid-2016 with the £160m required to build the site approved by the Danish Pension Fund investors on 5 August 2016.

BWSC, an engineering contractor with extensive experience in bio-mass power plants will not only build but also operate the plant with EuroForest Ltd, a UK based forest company providing the fuel.

The CHP plant will open in 2018 and will annually use around 240,000 tonnes of locally sourced, sustainably harvested wood, generate 27.8 MW of green electricity and reduce reliance on imported fossil fuels, creating a more secure energy supply.