Drivers approaching each other could barely see in front of them today as clouds of hot steam emissions from Barry’s controversial Biomass incinerator descended on local roads like a blanket of thick fog.

What are called “pre-commissioning works” – involving the discharge of massive plumes of steam – have now started at the controversial new Biomass Incinerator at Barry Docks.

The installation of the incinerator has been imposed on Barry by the Labour-run Welsh Assembly Government – despite the unanimous opposition of the Conservative Vale of Glamorgan Council and even the Labour-run Barry Town Council.

Hot steam, pouring from the controversial new Biomass plant at Barry Docks today. The diesel fumes weren’t quite so visible. It’s forecast that once in full operation, fumes from the plant will reach Penarth on the prevailing wind

It’s feared that when the tests are complete and the incinerator begins full operations, clouds of effluent will be discharged from the high smoke-stack on the building which will pollute Sully and Penarth.

The steam pouring from the plant today was so dense at times it stopped traffic in the docks area .

It’s understood that the new Biomass incinerator will be burning thousands of wooden pallets

So much steam was being discharged, the condensed water vapour fell as a localised rain shower on Dock View Road . The operation is said to be to be part of the a process of pre-cleaning the plant prior to the start of incineration.

The steam today was coming from what is described as a temporaty structure at the side of the incinerator .

Almost-invisible hot exhaust fumes from burning diesel fuel refract the light as they are discharged into the air from the Barry Incinerator’s main smoke-stack

At the same time as the steam was being discharged from the site of the building,  diesel fumes were being emitted from the tall smoke stack on the site. The  diesel exhaust fumes were coming from the burning of diesel fuel which is said to be “part of the pre-commissioning phase” [The by products created by burning diesel fuel contain minute particulates which are a proven cause of cancer.]

The Vale of Glamorgan Council – which unanimously voted against giving planning permission to the scheme – but was overuled by the Labour-run Welsh Assembly Governemnt – says ” We are aware of health concerns that have been expressed by local residents, but through consultation with Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and the Operator we are not aware of any emissions that are of public health concern.”

“Hello there. I’m your new neighbour!” (Frame from Twitter video by Jon Trew)

Vale Council officials also say “We are aware of complaints of noise in the early hours and SRS are responding to these and other complaints relating to nuisance that is affecting local residents. We are working closely with NRW and a meeting took place Monday between officers of NRW, the SRS and the Operator to discuss the pre-commissioning phase. Sole responsibility for regulating the operation of the site will soon pass to the NRW when full commissioning takes place.”

The incinerator is supposed to convert what’s described as “waste wood” into electricity and is projected to supply the energy needs of the population of Barry.

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  1. Tim Hughes says:

    There are many many advantages of burning waste in the locality in which it is produced. It provides local encouragement for the maintenance of high quality emission standards. It generates local electricity which does not require long distance transmission, there can even be combined heat systems if there are other local suitable local businesses/houses. Of course there is also a reduction in the lorries transporting the waste through the vale, further reducing the pollution. Win win win.

    • Dai Jones says:


      Speaking as a concerned layman of Penarth, why has a development like this been allowed to get to this position without an environmental impact study?

      You’ll probably correct me but if sometime this isn’t afforded a full study of its impact on both the local environment and its people, what kind of development is?

  2. so siting it down your road would work well? Could you drop Aviva a line to invite them along to see where they can squeeze one it.

  3. James says:

    Amazing new, I start my new job soon

  4. Penarthur says:

    They ran similar tests when the Splott incinerator started up. Since that time, it hardly ever produces visible steam or smoke.

  5. Whatever says:

    Anyone else tbink the positivity of the prior posts is suspect?

    • Tim Hughes says:

      You’re right, we don’t want anyone in Penarth to have a positive view on anything.

      • Dai Jones says:


        You’ve responded here – could you respond to my question to your first post? Am genuinely interested.


  6. Dai Jones says:


    You’ve responded here – could you respond to my question to your first post? Am genuinely interested.


    • Tim Hughes says:

      I am not an expert in this field but it may well be that the restrictions on what can be burnt and the understanding of the process are such that the planning requirements are not onerous. The Cardiff plant is many times bigger than the Barry plant and it burns domestic refuse so maybe that plant required much more detailed consideration. On a parallel note I have to admit that I really enjoy collecting wood and burning it in my wood burner it must be to do with my ancestors and living in caves!

      • Alvine Westerland says:

        I disagree. I drive past it every day on my way to and from work, and it is always producing visible smoke – and a lot of it.

    • Whatever says:

      That’s because he cant answer in a way that will endorse this as a wonderful development, that our children should be appreciative of.

      • Tim Hughes says:

        Have you ever thought of making a real contribution to a discussion possibly presenting you own considered views; might be better than incorrectly answering for others. My children and grandchilden all live in houses that burn wood.

  7. Alvine Westerland says:

    The Splott incinerator burns and produces smoke every day. I drive past it on my way to and from work and can assure you it is always producing smoke – and a lot of it. The waste wood predicted to being burnt in Barry is not locally produced, The proposed electricity being produced is not going to to go to Barry residents. There is a lot of misinformation evident in some of these comments.

    • Tim Hughes says:

      The Splott incinerator is much larger than the Barry one and burns large volumes of domestic waste which has a low energy density. You are 100% correct there are no forests in Barry, but the pallets are not being manufactured anywhere just to burn. You clearly do not understand how energy is transmitted, if energy is produced in Barry it will be used in the local area first.

Comments are closed.