ONE of Barry’s biggest employers is seeking planning permission to build a new eco-friendly biomass system on its Cardiff Road site.

Chemical plant Dow Corning said the move could reduce its carbon emissions by 36,000 tonnes a year and create nine permanent jobs on site, as well as 50 construction and engineering jobs.

The proposed biomass gasification system would provide Dow Corning, a leading global supplier of silicones, with a new sustainable source of heat for its Barry site.

It will be fuelled solely by recycled wood chips, sourced as much as possible from within 50 miles of the site, in order to reduce the site’s carbon footprint, energy costs and its dependence on fossil fuels.

Construction of the biomass plant could begin at the end of 2014 and end in 2016, if permission is granted.

Site manager at Dow Corning in Barry, Brian Austin said: “Wood-fuelled heating systems are one of the most sustainable options open to us as we look for new ways of providing energy to the site. The carbon dioxide emitted from the gasification process is the same amount that was absorbed by the wood over the months and years that it was growing, so it’s a very sustainable process.

“We are a large business locally so it’s important to us that we minimise our impact, both on the community and the environment, in everything that we do. We must lead the way in a more sustainable future for businesses in Wales by making the most of eco innovations like biomass. Projects such as this align well with Welsh Government objectives to drive green job creation in Wales.”

The biomass system, housed on the west side of the plant, would be fuelled by around 60,000 tonnes of local wood chips every year and would be expected to reduce annual CO2 emissions by 36,000 tonnes – the equivalent of removing more than 14,000 cars from the road.

Nine new jobs would be created on site to help with the operation of the plant, and additional full time jobs with wood chip collection, processing and delivery operations.

The two-year construction period would see an additional 50 jobs created.

Any questions from the community about the planning permission can be sent to or call Dow Corning’s reception on 01446 732 350.