HRH The Princess Royal formally opened Veolia’s Battlefield energy recovery facility in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, at a special ceremony at the site yesterday (10 January).
The £100 million facility processes up to 90,000 tonnes of household waste from across Shropshire, from towns including Oswestry, Market Drayton and Shrewsbury, under a 27-year PFI contract signed between Veolia and Shropshire council in 2007.
Construction work began on the site in late 2012, with operations having started in 2015. Built by CNIM and Clugston Construction, the facility incorporates a moving grate system which turns waste during the burning process.
The plant is one of ten energy from waste facilities operated by Veolia to have achieved R1 efficiency status which means that the treatment activities can be classed as a ‘recovery’ rather than a ‘disposal’ process.
Located on the Battlefield Enterprise Park, around three miles north of Shrewsbury town centre, the energy recovery facility is adjacent to a household waste recycling centre, serving residents in the town, which remained open throughout the construction process.
The ‘Battlefield’ site is so-called as it was the location of the 1403 Battle of Shrewsbury between the armies of King Henry IV and Henry Percy – the first battle in which English archers used longbows.
HRH Princess Anne – who opened Veolia’s Chineham energy from waste plant in 2003 – toured the Battlefield site alongside Veolia UK’s senior vice president Estelle Brachlianoff and technical director director Richard Kirkman, and thanked Veolia for its invitation to formally open the site.
Addressing invited guests, she said: “It is always a pleasure to see energy projects like this being built but also how important that the council and the local community understand the advantages of working together to get a really good result.
“I know it has been open for a little while, but it means you’ve had time to measure the advantages which is really good to hear.”
- The Battlefield ERF plant has the capacity to process 90,000 tonnes of waste per-year
- (l-r) HRH The Princess Royal, Estelle Brachlianoff of Veolia and Cllr Ann Hartley of Shropshire council
- HRH The Princess Royal said: "...it is always a pleasure to see energy projects like this being built..."
- Veolia's Estelle Brachlianoff praised the partnership between her company and Shropshire council
- HRH The Princess Royal tours the control room of the Battlefield ERF
- An exterior shot of the plant, which is located on part of the site of the 1403 Battle of Shrewsbury
- Clugston and CNIM were responsible for building the facility, which began operations in 2015
In her speech to mark the opening of the site, Mrs Brachlianoff said that the facility incorporates “both old and new” through the links to the heritage of the site and the use of technology to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill in Shropshire.
She added that the Battlefield ERF is an ‘important piece in the jigsaw’ for the management of the county’s waste, and thanked the council for overcoming ‘bumps in the road’ in the form of planning delays to the site.
She said: “Over the past 10 years we have worked very closely with Shropshire council to develop an integrated approach to the county’s waste management and recycling. This facility is part of a long term investment in recycling and recovery infrastructure over the lifetime of the contract and will significantly contribute towards maximising landfill diversion.”
“This facility is part of a long term investment in recycling and recovery infrastructure over the lifetime of the contract and will significantly contribute towards maximising landfill diversion.”
Recycling data for 2015/16 suggests that Shropshire achieved a 54% combined dry recycling and composting rate for the year – with a total of 68,000 tonnes of waste having been sent for energy recovery. Around 11,000 tonnes of waste was landfilled throughout the year – roughly 6.9% of the total waste collected – compared to more than 75,000 tonnes of waste from the council landfilled in 2010/11.
Householders in Shropshire have seen waste services undergo major changes over the last 12 months with the council having overseen an overhaul of recycling collections throughout 2016 (see letsrecycle.com story). Veolia also carries out collections on behalf of the unitary authority.
Councillor Ann Hartley, chairman of Shropshire council, said: “This excellent facility is at the heart of our commitment to sustainability and making the best use of our resources. It allows us to divert non-recyclable waste away from landfill and into a green energy and complements the new household recycling centres we have opened and the improvements to our kerbside recycling service.”