THE shadow minister for energy security paid a visit to an eco-park to discover the important work carried out by an award-winning Dorset company.

Dr Alan Whitehead learnt about the role of waste wood in renewable biomass power at Eco Sustainable Solutions near Bournemouth Airport.

The MP for Southampton Test was shown around the site during a meeting organised by the Wood Recyclers’ Association (WRA).

The facility processes 65,000 tonnes of waste wood a year into biofuel.

Some of this powers the in-house biomass combined heat and power plant providing renewable heat and electricity for the site.

The company also processes other organic waste including green waste and street sweepings.

The chair of the WRA, Richard Coulson and executive director Julia Turner gave an overview of the UK waste wood market outlining the benefits of waste wood.

Richard said that the waste wood-powered biomass fleet in the UK, which is the only viable option for lower quality wood, was at risk due to uncertainty over long-term support for the sector.

Dr Whitehead MP said: “I was delighted to visit Eco Sustainable Solutions and learn more about the waste wood sector and the important part that waste wood plays in generating renewable energy.

“It was fantastic to see sustainable fuel being produced from end-of-life waste wood. Labour’s plans to decarbonise the country’s electricity system by 2030 will require a huge increase in renewable power and I believe localised plants like these can make an important contribution.”

Richard Coulson added: “It was a pleasure to meet Alan and talk to him about our sector. “He was particularly interested to hear about the proportion of biomass energy produced from waste wood and how our sector can be best supported by future government policy.”

“At what is a critical time for our industry he was very receptive to our messages and how we are making the best use of our domestic waste resource to contribute to wider environmental goals.”

Peter Hardy, business development director for Eco Sustainable Solutions led the site tour and said: “At Eco we are committed to finding ever more sustainable solutions for waste, so we were very pleased to show Alan around our wood processing operation and our wider eco-park.

“He was very impressed with our facility when he visited a few years ago so it was great to show him how we have grown and to share our plans for the future.”