1 December 2020 by James Langley

Biffa, Covanta & GIG in financial close on Protos EfW

Biffa is set to develop its second energy from waste (EfW) plant in the UK after achieving financial close on the Protos facility in Cheshire, it announced today (1 December). 

The facility is to be developed by Biffa, American waste management company Covanta and Macquarie’s Green Investment Group (GIG). The three companies teamed up in 2017 (see letsrecycle.com story). Covanta and GIG will each own 37.5% facility, with Biffa, the primary waste supplier to the plant, owning the remaining 25%.

An artist’s impression of the facility

Located near Ellesmere Port, the facility will have the capacity to treat 400,000 tonnes of non-recyclable household waste and industrial and commercial waste every year. It will be capable of generating 49 megawatts of “low carbon” electricity annually. 

Michael Topham, Biffa’s chief executive, said: “We are pleased to have reached this important milestone together with our partners and to be taking another step towards improving the UK’s waste infrastructure and creating a low-carbon and resource-efficient economy. 

“This project demonstrates our commitment to helping the UK to build the recycling and energy from waste infrastructure it needs to reduce its reliance on unnecessary export or landfill of valuable resources.” 


The plant is expected to cost between £345 million and £355 million. Biffa’s financial commitment to the project will amount to £35 million, which it says will be invested in the next three years from existing facilities.

“This project demonstrates our commitment to helping the UK to build the recycling and energy from waste infrastructure it needs”

Michael Topham, Biffa chief executive

Construction of the facility will be led by a joint venture between Greek industrial conglomerate Mytilineos S.A and German construction company Standardkessell Baumgarte GmbH. Biffa says it expects the facility to provide “significant” economic opportunities to the local and regional area during the three-year construction phase and upon its completion. 

Covanta will supply operations and maintenance services once the plant is up and running, while Biffa will provide fuel for the facility, with more than 60% of the feedstock to be sourced from Biffa’s own operations. 

EfW infrastructure 

Until recently, Biffa had never owned any EfW infrastructure. Now, the Protos facility is to be the company’s second plant in the UK. Biffa reached financial close on its 350,000-tonnes-per year capacity Newhurst EfW facility in Leicestershire in February, a project it is working on with the same joint venture partners (see letsrecycle.com story). A video showing the progress made on the construction of the plant can be seen below. 

Covanta is involved in four EfW projects in the UK: the Newhurst and Protos plants, the 240,000-tonnes-per-year capacity Earls Gate Energy Centre in Grangemouth, Scotland, and the 545,000 tonnes-per-year capacity Rookery Pit facility in Bedfordshire. The latter facility is being developed in partnership with Veolia and GIG. 

Covanta President and CEO Michael W. Ranger said: “Today’s announcement marks our fourth energy-from-waste project in the UK with GIG and our second with Biffa, all within the last two years, and demonstrates our sustained progress in executing on our strategic plans to grow in this important market.” 


To post your comment, please login or signup.

Login Sign up