Construction of West Midlands EfW to start this month

enfinium, formerly known as Wheelabrator, has announced it has reached financial close on its 395,000 tonnes per year capacity energy from waste (EfW) plant in West Bromwich, West Midlands.

An artist's impression of the 395,000 tonnes per annum facility (picture: enfinium)

Called the ‘Kelvin EfW’, half of the plant’s capacity will be supplied by Suez under a contract it signed in January 2021. Further deals have been struck with Biffa and B&M Waste, enfinium said.

enfinium, which has seven EfW plants in its portfolio, says construction of the Kelvin plant will begin this month but did not specify an operational date.

With a catchment area that includes greater Birmingham, enfinium has previously said facility will help deal with a projected capacity shortfall of two million tonnes a year.

‘Milestone’

Julia Watsford, chief executive of enfinium

Julia Watsford, chief executive of enfinium, said: “Today marks a milestone for the project and a huge step forward to providing capacity for the safe and reliable treatment of waste that cannot be reduced, reused or recycled in the UK.”

She continued: “I’m incredibly proud of our team and our partners who have worked tirelessly and safely throughout coronavirus to make a difference today to deliver a cleaner tomorrow. This comes on the back of the successful financial close in July of the enfinium Skelton Grange facility in Leeds, West Yorkshire.”

Progress to reach financial close follows the granting of planning permission by Sandwell Council in September 2019 and the award of an Environmental Permit by the Environment Agency in July 2019.

This transaction further strengthens enfinium’s standing as the largest pure play waste-to-energy operator in the UK

– Hamish Lea-Wilson, partner at First Sentier Investors

Construction

Spanish infrastructure company Acciona has been named the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the delivery of the facility and has taken responsibility for the site.

Acciona is also bidding to construct the new Edmonton facility in North London, and is also constructing the Abderdeen EfW.

enfinium describes itself as the “largest pure play waste-to-energy business in the UK” and is a developer, owner and operator of seven “strategically located waste-to-energy facilities in operation, construction or advanced development”.

This includes Ferrybridge Multifuel 1 and 2, Kemsley K3, Parc Adfer, Kelvin, Skelton Grange. It also includes Kemsley North in its portfolio, but this was rejected by the Planning Inspectorate in February (see letsrecycle.com story).

The company, owned by a fund managed by First Sentier Investors (FSI), says it is “an integral part of the UK’s environmental infrastructure, diverting waste that cannot be reduced, reused or recycled from landfills and export”.

Hamish Lea-Wilson, partner at FSI, said: “We are delighted with the successful closing of this transaction which further strengthens enfinium’s standing as the largest pure play waste-to-energy operator in the UK. This development is in line with our commitment to growing the enfinium platform and to invest in critical infrastructure assets that support transition to a circular economy.”

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