18 January 2021 by Robyn White

Avonmouth EfW operations handed over to Viridor

Viridor has announced it has taken over operations at its £252 million energy from waste facility in Avonmouth, near Bristol.

An aerial of the Avonmouth energy from waste plant

The company said today (18 January) that the contractor, CNIM, officially handed over the site in December, with construction having continued throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

The plant is now receiving up to 120,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste from the Somerset Waste Partnership, and 120,000 tonnes from the West of England Waste Partnership, as part of the commissioning process.

Viridor said that the plant has the capacity to process 320,000 tonnes of residual waste per year, and will generate up to 307GWh of electricity annually.

It forms part of Viridor’s wider Avonmouth Resource Recovery Centre, which includes a £65m plastic reprocessing plant, currently under construction, which will use heat and power from the facility.

CNIM described the plant as ‘“state of the art”, with technologies implemented enabling Viridor to “meet its dual objective of energy and environmental performance”.

‘Important milestone’

Mr Bradshaw said the handover of the facility is an ‘important milestone’

Kevin Bradshaw, Viridor chief executive, said the company was pleased to have achieved this “important milestone” following other significant achievements at the site, including the first export of electricity to the grid in July.

Mr Bradshaw said: “Optimising resource and energy efficiency and providing the infrastructure investment needed to make a meaningful contribution to the UK’s green economy continues to be the driving force of our business strategy. We will continue to seek opportunities to replicate the use of the ERFs as the combined heat and power plants that they were designed to be, supporting recycling and circular economy initiatives.”

‘Great step forward’

Somerset Waste Partnership managing director Mickey Green said: “This facility is another important piece in the Somerset waste management puzzle. While we remain focussed on reduction, reuse and recycling; having a means to ‘repurpose’ waste that cannot be recycled, rather than sending it to landfill, is a great leap forward.

“The handover is a great achievement and a milestone in our ongoing work with Viridor and other partners to decarbonise the county’s residual waste.”

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