A FORMER colliery site has been given a new lease of life in the energy market thanks to the latest green power technology.

Bowhill, at Cardenden, hasn't produced coal for many years, but it is set to be the major supply point for the wood required by the biomass plant currently under construction by Markinch papermakers Tullis Russell.

The �2.1 million project for plant operators Npower will see the Lochgelly based Purvis Group bring in timber from Scotland's forests and chip it ready for use in the biomass plant's boiler.

That will provide around a third of the necessary fuel and Purvis, which has its headquarters at Cartmore Industrial Estate, will also store ready-chipped waste wood from elsewhere to ensure demand is met.

Some 40 to 50 jobs have been created during the six-month construction period of the wood processing plant and 40,000 tonne store, and once operational there will six full-time workers on site.

Explained Purvis director Bob Garmory, "The latest project is a natural extension of our recycling and restoration scheme at Bowhill.

"We knew that if there was to be a continuing life-stream for the area then we needed something new and we are delighted to have won this contract from Npower. It's good news for the area and we are working to address any concerns that have arisen from the construction work." Added company boss Bob Purvis, "I would like to thank local MP Lindsay Roy for his active support ever since we started talking with the company. It's been a long road and we are delighted to have got there at last." Said Mr Roy "I congratulate the Purvis Group for having the foresight to take advantage of the opportunity resulting from the Tullis Russell biomass project. The Purvis Group employs around 400 people and is a major contributor to the Fife economy.

"This latest venture will provide more work for local people and I wish the company, which is sensitive to the needs of the community, well." Our picture shows Lindsay Roy (left) and Bob Purvis at Bowhill.