Consultation on Portland EfW application opens

The Environment Agency has launched a consultation on Powerfuel Portland’s permit application for its proposed 183,000 tonnes per year capacity energy from waste (EfW) plant in Dorset.

An artists impression of the plant

The consultation runs from 11 June to 3 September. It can be accessed here.

An impression of the proposed EfW plant at Portland, Dorset

Dorset-based energy company Powerfuel announced its plans to build the £100 million plant on the Isle of Portland in December 2019 (see story).

The company submitted its planning application for the facility to Dorset council in September 2020 (see story).

A non-technical summary submitted with Powerfuel’s permit application and published on 11 June reads: “Powerfuel Portland Limited is proposing to build the Portland Energy Recovery Facility at a site within Portland Port on the Isle of Portland, Dorset. The facility will incinerate refuse derived fuel (RDF) produced from domestic municipal solid waste and commercial and industrial non-hazardous waste.”

The plant will be of a single stream design and capable of treating up to 202,000 tonnes per annum of non-hazardous, residual waste material, though Powerfuel says it will have a nominal capacity of 183,000 tonnes per annum. The facility will generate approximately 15.2 MWe of electricity at the nominal design capacity.

When contacted by Powerfuel declined to comment.


The RDF will arrive at the site by road or by sea. Deliveries by sea will be wrapped and baled, Powerfuel says on its website, while road deliveries will be either baled or in sealed vehicles.

Once inside the facility, the fuel will be de-baled, shredded and screened before being used for combustion. The RDF will pass over a grate producing heat in a boiler to generate superheated steam, which will generate electricity in a steam turbine.

Portland’s application says the plant will “have the potential” to export steam as heat to local users.


In its September 2020 application, Powerfuel said Dorset had a lack of domestic residual waste infrastructure. Waste is sent by the council as RDF to Europe or to domestic EfW facilities such as Veolia’s Marchwood site near Southampton.

In the face of some local concerns at the time, Powerfuel said its Portland facility would not discourage “existing high levels of recycling achieved in Dorset from continuing”.

Representing an estimated population of 375,000 residents, Dorset council had a household waste recycling rate of 58.9% in the 2019/20 financial year.

In October 2020, Powerfuel claimed its Dorset plant would be the “UK’s first” carbon neutral facility (see story).


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