21 January 2019 by Joshua Doherty

Construction of Millerhill EfW ‘ahead of schedule’

FCC Environment has announced that completion of its £142 million Energy from Waste (EfW) facility in Millerhill, on the outskirts of Edinburgh, is “ahead of schedule”, with commissioning activities now at an advanced stage.  

Work on the facility began in December 2016, with construction of the plant due to take 30 months, ahead of a final completion date expected in May 2019.

(l-r) Cllr Leslie Macinnes, Edinburgh council; Mark Keast, FCC’s general manager at the Millerhill facility, and; Cllr Russell Imrie, Midlothian council

FCC has said that construction of the main building is already completed, with commissioning advancing following receipt of the first load of waste in October 2018. Testing of the plant took place throughout November before the it generated its first energy last month.

FCC says final testing of the plant, which will process 135,000 tonnes of household waste per-year from Edinburgh and Midlothian councils, will commence soon ahead of final completion.

‘Encouraged’

Commenting on the development of the plant, Leslie Macinnes, transport and environment convener at Edinburgh council, said: “I’m extremely encouraged by the progress of this project, which is fast approaching completion. By working with Midlothian Council, both areas will be able to benefit from this major energy-from-waste plant in the near future.

“As a council, we are committed to reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill, and the new facility will be central to our efforts, while also providing a long-term solution for the recovery of value from the residual waste.”

The facility is being built by Hitachi Zosen Inova (HZI) on behalf of FCC Environment (UK), which signed a 25-year contract to operate the plant in October 2016 (see letsrecycle.com story). The contract is estimated to be worth up to £450 million over its lifetime.

Food waste

A separate anaerobic digestion facility, which takes all of the food waste collected by the partner councils, is already in operation on a neighbouring site to the energy plant. The facility is run by Biogen, which acquired the facility from Kelda Water Services in January 2018.

It is hoped the two facilities will treat both food and non-recyclable waste, creating renewable energy in the process, and will help both authorities contribute to the national Scottish recycling target of 70% by 2025 and the national landfill diversion target of 95% by 2025.

Midlothian Council’s cabinet member for zero waste, Russell Imrie, added: “It’s exciting to see this partnership project coming to fruition and already generating green energy. The plant will be a huge asset, helping both councils meet Zero Waste targets and diverting an astonishing 155,000 tonnes of waste from landfill.”

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