Work to reduce noise pollution at a Fife biomass plant, which has affected residents for years, has been completed.
Operators of Markinch Biomass Plant, RWE, has now completed its £200,000 investment in new acoustic shielding to reduce noise pollution associated with the plant’s steam turbine generator.
The biomass-fired combined heat and power (CHP) plant was opened in March 2015 by then energy minister, Fergus Ewing MSP.
Beleaguered residents living close to the plant have complained about noise from the site since it opened.
A series of liaison meetings were held in 2018 involving residents, local politicians and RWE to address concerns.
The plant was shut down for a week in October 2018 after valve failure led to noise pollution compared to the din of “jet engines taking off”.
A subsequent report by environmental regulator Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) backed up complaints made by residents.
Now, following improvement work at the plant, RWE has confirmed the acoustic shielding installation has reduced tonal noise by 18 decibels.
SEPA are due to conduct their own assessment of the effectiveness of the acoustic shielding in October.
Mid Fife and Glenrothes MSP Jenny Gilruth, has now welcomed the installation.
Speaking after a visit to the plant this week the MSP said she was delighted by the improvements.
She added: “The installation is a significant investment in the power plant from RWE and I’m grateful that they have listened and responded to the community’s concerns.”
Kathrin Schmelter, Markinch CHP biomass plant manager said: “RWE is committed to improving the efficiency of the plant, with both technical and physical investments.
“It is also important that we look for ways to minimise the impact our operations have on the local community.
“RWE is proud to be a part of the local community many of our staff live locally, we will continue to work with local stakeholders and look for constant improvements.”
A spokesperson for Markinch Community Council, said: “We have all persevered in our endeavour to cut down the night time noise to enable a night’s sleep.
“Liaison with SEPA, RWE, Fife Council and the community council has produced helpful ways to move forward.”