An “exemplar” biomass energy centre at the University of East Anglia, built by Morgan Sindall, is three months late in becoming operational

The university, which is renowned for its pioneering environmental work and recently came under the media spotlight owing its climate change research, commissioned the centre to provide 30% of its Norwich campus’ power.

It is supposed to work by heating wood from local sawmills and using the resulting gas to power a generator. But the centre, although already built, is now three months behind schedule after experiencing technical problems.

A spokesperson for the university said: “We have encountered some technical issues during the commissioning process, for example a replacement wood chip conveyor had to be designed and installed. The delay has nothing to do with the building work by Morgan Sindall.

“This is a pioneering plant and we hope that it will serve as an exemplar to other universities and organisations that want to cut their emissions and their energy bills.”

The building was partly funded through a loan from the Higher Education Funding Council for England and a source had suggested that the money would have to be returned earlier if the system failed to work.

But a spokesperson for the university said:

“As we are confident that the plant will be fully operational this autumn, we do not expect this to be an issue.”