Suez UK’s plans for an Energy from Waste (EfW) plant near Blackburn were approved yesterday (15 August) by Blackburn with Darwen borough council.
But, construction of the plant is now dependent on the waste management company securing a contract to continue managing Lancashire’s residual waste, a statement from Suez UK said.
If built, the facility on Lower Eccleshill Road in Darwen would process up to 500,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste and generate electricity for over 60,000 homes.
Councillor Phil Riley, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council’s executive member for growth and development, said the planning application was one of the biggest ever considered by the local authority.
He added: “It could mean more than £300m of inward investment in our local economy while also creating jobs through the construction process and 50 permanent new roles once the site is operational.
“Importantly, the development could also offer significant improvements to how we deal with waste, not only from our own borough, but potentially from right across Lancashire, diverting it from landfill and using it to generate enough energy to power 60,000 properties – that’s the equivalent of every home in Blackburn with Darwen.”
“The development could also offer significant improvements to how we deal with waste, not only from our own borough, but potentially from right across Lancashire.”
Cllr Riley commented that Suez’s application had been of a high quality and included thorough public consultation which had been incorporated into the design.
“This is an ambitious project for Blackburn with Darwen – one that could bring with it wide-reaching community benefits and opportunities for our local businesses,” he said.
The EfW had been recommended for approval by council officers ahead of the meeting of the planning and highways committee meeting on 15 August. (see letsrecycle.com story)
The Darwen EfW plant is expected to handle 425,000 tonnes of municipal waste and 75,000 tonnes of commercial waste annually. Sources of the waste are yet to be finalised, but it is expected that the majority – around 350,000 tonnes per year – will consist of residual municipal solid waste from Lancashire kerbside collections.
Gary Mayson, chief operating officer for energy at Suez UK, said: “We are delighted that Blackburn with Darwen councillors have approved our application.
“The proposal to construct a high-tech energy recovery centre in Darwen could see up to half a million tonnes of waste diverted from landfill; the equivalent of over 60,000 homes powered by sustainable electricity; and up to 50 skilled and semi-skilled local jobs created.”