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Kemsley Paper Mill given approval for gas-fired power plant after application by DS Smith

The government has given its consent to build a new plant to power a paper mill.

Kemsley Paper Mill, near Sittingbourne, has been given development consent to build a gas-fired combined heat and power plant, by the secretary of state for business, energy and industry, Greg Clark.

Plans were submitted by DS Smith, which expects the new plant to create four jobs.

E.ON has announced the signing of a major agreement to construct a state-of-the-art combined heat and power (CHP) facility at Kemsley Paper Mill(13530024)
E.ON has announced the signing of a major agreement to construct a state-of-the-art combined heat and power (CHP) facility at Kemsley Paper Mill(13530024)

Germany energy supplier E.On is set to build the new power plant.

Once it's fully operational, the plant will replace an existing CHP plant, which currently supplies electricity and steam to the mill.

The new plant is made up from a gas turbine, waste heat recovery boilers and a steam turbine, all of which will be built on the south eastern section of the paper mill, off Swale Way.

Kemsley Paper Mill first opened in 1924 to produce newsprint.

At the time, its four paper machines were the largest in the world. Now, the mill has enough capacity to create 820,000 tonnes of paper a year.

Colin McIntyre, CEO for DS Smith Paper and Recycling Divisions, said: "We are delighted that the government has given its planning consent that allows work to start on a new Combined Heat and Power Plant at our recycled paper mill in Kent.

"Partnering with E.ON to develop a state-of-the-art solution to meet our long-term energy requirements is a vital element to achieve this ambition and we expect to see a 36,000 tonnes per year carbon reduction from improved efficiency at the new facility.”

"We are looking forward to construction beginning later this year as we are delighted with the benefits the new plant will bring to our business, as well as the opportunity this gives us to continue our strategic partnership with E.ON.”

Maidstone-based planning consultants helped put together the paper mill's application for a development consent order (DCO.

David Harvey, director at DHA, said: "The DCO process is designed to speed up applications for major investments in infrastructure or utilities, and is challenging with very detailed consultation on the proposals followed by an extensive and rigorous examination by a planning inspector.

"We are delighted that all the hard work has paid off and construction on the CHP plant can soon start and deliver clean and efficient energy to help sustain this important company in Kent."

The Planning Inspectorate’s chief executive, Sarah Richards said: "The Planning Inspectorate has again demonstrated its ability to examine nationally significant infrastructure projectswithin timescales laid down in the Planning Act 2008.

"This provides developers and investors with the confidence to build and improve the infrastructure this country needs to secure future economic growth."

The new plant is expected to be up and running in 2021.

Read more: All the latest news from around Sittingbourne.

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