12 July 2019 by Lucy Pegg

Kemsley CHP granted development consent

Development consent has been granted for a combined heat and power (CHP) plant at the Kemsley paper mill in Kent, operated by DS Smith.

The new CHP – known as K4 – has been developed in partnership with E.ON and will include a gas turbine, waste heat recovery boilers and a steam turbine. It is intended that K4 will replace an existing CHP plant at Kemsley which is the current source of electricity and steam for the paper mill.

The new CHP plant will power the Kemsley paper mill operated by DS Smith

Colin McIntyre, chief executive for DS Smith Paper and Recycling Divisions, said he was delighted to see consent given to the project.

He added: “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.”

The K4 CHP plant will be gas fired. The gas turbine will have 52-57 megawatts nominal power, the boilers will provide 105 megawatts of thermal steam and the steam turbine will have 16 megawatts nominal power output.

The project has been deemed a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) as it is a large scale onshore generating station.


The approval had been expected after the National Infrastructure Planning organisation recommended that the Secretary of State give the project the green light in April. The application had been submitted to the planning inspectorate in the same month (see letsrecycle.com story).

The plant will be built on the south-eastern part of the Kemsley site and is separate from a larger energy from waste (EfW) facility – known as K3 – which is being developed on the same site.

DS Smith produces cardboard material at the Kemsley site. As a result of the K3 and K4 projects, the company is expecting to reduce its carbon footprint.

Nearby communities and local authorities were consulted during a six month examination before consent was given. The Kemsley site lies within the area covered by Swale district council and Kent country council.

The Planning Inspectorate’s chief executive, Sarah Richards said: “The Planning Inspectorate has again demonstrated its ability to examine nationally significant infrastructure projects within 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.”


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