15 December 2016 by Caelia Quinault

Work begins on £142m Midlothian EfW plant

Work is underway to build a £142 million energy-from-waste plant serving Edinburgh and Midlothian.

Environment leaders from the City of Edinburgh and Midlothian councils visited the site at Millerhill, Midlothian, this week, where construction of the Millerhill Resource and Energy Recovery Centre (RERC) has started.

Representatives from FCC join councillors from Midlothian and Edinburgh councils for a ground breaking ceremony at the Midlothian site

Representatives from FCC join councillors from Midlothian and Edinburgh councils for a ground breaking ceremony at the Midlothian site

The facility is being built by Hitachi Zosen Inova (HZI) on behalf of FCC Environment (UK), who signed a 25-year contract to operate the plant in October 2016 (see letsrecycle.com story). The contract is estimated to be worth up to £450 million over its lifetime.

The energy from waste (EfW) facility, which is set to begin operation by 2019, will treat around 135,000 tonnes of household residual waste a year, and a further 20,000 tonnes of commercial waste a year, and use this to generate electricity.

Planning documents reveal that the facility will comprise a waste reception hall, mechanical process to recover ferrous and non-ferrous metals for recycling, remove reject material and produce solid recovered fuel (SRF) and an energy-from-waste process to recover energy from the SRF. The plant will also feature a dry flue gas treatment system which is intended to improves the energy efficiency of the plant and reduce water use.

Project

Councillor Lesley Hinds, environment convener for the city of Edinburgh council, said: “This is a key milestone in the project to construct a major waste processing plant, and I’m delighted to see successful partnership working between authorities come to fruition.

“This new facility, alongside the new food waste treatment plant on the site, will play an important part in reducing the amount of rubbish sent to landfill for both councils, as well as providing a long-term solution for the recovery of value from the residual waste.”

(l-r): Councillor Derek Rosie, Midlothian council; councillor Jim Bryant, Midlothian council; councillor Lesley Hinds, City of Edinburgh council

(l-r): Councillor Derek Rosie, Midlothian council; councillor Jim Bryant, Midlothian council; councillor Lesley Hinds, City of Edinburgh council

Edinburgh council has previously confirmed it will be providing an estimated £27 million capital contribution for the project, with a further £6.8 million coming from Midlothian. The Green Investment Bank has meanwhile committed £28 million.

‘Delighted’

Commenting on progress to date, Midlothian council’s cabinet member for commercial operations, councillor Derek Rosie, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to see work underway on this major facility. This is a fantastic example of partnership working that will not only help both councils meet Zero Waste targets but also create jobs and bring real benefits to communities, including  producing energy for the National Grid.”

A food waste treatment plant, which takes all of the food waste collected by the partner councils, is currently in operation on the Zero Waste Parc next to the Millerhill Marshalling Yard in Midlothian.

It is hoped the project will help both authorities contribute to the Scottish national recycling target of 70% by 2025 and the l landfill diversion target of 95% by 2025.


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