Developer Prenergy to built the £400m renewable energy plant in Port Talbot

Energy secretary John Hutton has given the green light to the biggest biomass plant in the world.

The 350MW wood-chipped fuelled electricity generating plant in Port Talbot, south Wales will generate enough clean electricity to power half of the homes in the region.

Developer Prenergy will work on the £400m plant which aims to contribute around 70% of the Welsh Assembly's 2010 renewable electricity target.

With biomass generation it will be able to produce continuous electricity for 24 hours a day over the 25 years of its expected lifetime.

The wood fuel is expected to come from sustainable sources in the US and Canada.

The scheme joins eight other renewable projects already approved by the government in the past 12 months alone.

Completion date is planned towards the turn of the decade.