Local Residents To Protest About Southall Biofuel Plant Proposal

Demonstration at Ealing Town Hall on Wednesday September 2nd

Related links

Food Not Fuel

Planning Application at Ealing Council

Ealing Friends of Earth Briefing

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A biofuel power station in Southall (Borough of Ealing) has been proposed by the company Blue-NG. Planners from Ealing council appear to support the proposal. The application will be decided at a Planning Committee meeting on Wednesday 2nd September.

A demonstration has been called by local residents. This will be at Ealing Town Hall on from 5.30 - 7.00 on Wednesday 2nd September.

Ealing Friends of the Earth is opposed to the plant and has asked to speak at the Planning meeting.

Their key reasons for opposing the plant are:

1. They have seen no enforceable conditions that would prevent palm oil from Indonesia or elsewhere being burnt. Palm oil plantations for biofuels are leading to deforestation and food shortages in tropical countries.

2. If the biofuel plant uses oilseed rape grown in England, as stated by Blue-NG, it will use up land that could grow food for 25,000 people.

This and similar plants will reduce Britain's food security.

3. The plant would not be 'carbon neutral' as claimed and would therefore not help the fight against climate change. Burning of biofuels can produce as much climate-changing emissions as burning fossil fuels, especially if fertilisers and the resultant nitrous oxide emissions are allowed for.

4. The area where the plant is proposed is an 'Air Quality Management Area' because air pollution levels breach UK and EU standards set to protect human health. This plant would increase air pollution and can only increase the chance of EU legal action and fines.

Food not Fuel has draft letters for Ealing and non-Ealing residents to write opposing the scheme and comment that:

"The power station will run 24 hours a day and will have a 65 metre (over 200ft) high exhaust chimney, alongside a new building 39 metres (126 ft) high. It will burn 20,000 tonnes of Biofuel (vegetable oil) a year, requiring up to eight tanker deliveries per day.

If this power station is built:

  • Local air quality will get worse – to add to the growing pollution from Heathrow and from local traffic.  Vegetable oil burning emits nitrogen oxides and small particulates linked to respiratory illnesses and heart problems.
  • Global greenhouse gas levels will increase, increasing the risk of runaway climate change
  • People in other areas of the world, like South-east Asia and South America could be displaced from their homes to allow the necessary vegetable oil plants to be grown
  • It will NOT provide local people with cheaper electricity
  • Apart from during the building work, it will provide few if any extra jobs"

August 26, 2009


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