It emerged last week that the heating system at a flagship prison in Peterhead is needing replaced, less than two years after it was built.
The £150 million HMP Grampian opened in spring of 2014, and prison chiefs have called for a refund on the ‘inefficient’ biomass plant so a traditional gas boiler plant can replace it.
Scottish Prison Service spokesperson Tom Fox said: “It’s to improve the efficiency of the heating system.
“The fuel source is being changed to make energy even more efficient.
“We will recoup sufficient monies from the developer to build the replacement.
North East MSP and Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Alison Mcinness said the need to replace the heating was ‘unacceptable’.
She said: “It is very disappointing that the biomass boiler is needing replaced.
“The biomass boiler was designed to distribute heat to the six separate blocks and it has now been found not to be up to the job.”
The contract to build HMP Grampian was awarded to Swedish firm Skanska in 2011.
A Skanska spokesperson confirmed the work will be done without the need to dip into the public purse.
They said: “As main contractor in the construction of HMP Grampian, in 2014 Skanska delivered a green facility with a high standard of sustainability, with overall package including both biomass and gas-powered boilers.
“Since then the Scottish Prison Service has decided to replace the biomass boiler with a gas-powered boiler. Installation will be at no extra cost.”