* Wood chip-burning plant will cost 400 mln stg to build
* Owner Clessidra seeks to sell project this year
* RBC hired to find buyer
By Quentin Webb and Greg Roumeliotis
LONDON/AMSTERDAM, Jan 15 (Reuters) - Italian private equity firm Clessidra is seeking to sell the Prenergy power station, a project that will be Britain’s largest biomass power plant, Prenergy said on Friday.
In an emailed statement, Prenergy told Reuters that Royal Bank of Canada had been hired to handle the sale, and Clessidra wanted to sell the project this year.
When completed, the plant in South Wales will burn wood chips from North America, generating enough electricity for half a million homes. The 350-megawatt plant won government approval in September. [ID:nLT88905]
Prenergy’s website says the Port Talbot plant will cost some 400 million pounds ($652 million) to build.
Clessidra, which owns 100 percent of Prenergy after buying out other shareholders, expects the plant’s construction will take three years.
RBC replaces Rothschild, which previously explored a sale of the company, people familiar with the matter said, adding that the sale is at an early stage with no definite timetable.
Large European utilities are likely to be interested. ($1=.6139 Pound) (Visit Reuters DealZone here) (Additional reporting by Stephen Jewkes in Milan)