18 May 2021 by James Langley

Cory undergoes rebrand to ‘shift focus’

London-based Cory has undergone a rebrand from Cory Riverside Energy, dropping the latter two words from its name, to ‘refocus’ the company’s operations from energy generation.

The waste management company announced the change today (18 May) to coincide with the publication of its 2020 annual review, where it said results were “strong” for the year despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

A Cory tug transports waste past the Houses of Parliament

Dougie Sutherland, Cory’s CEO, said: “Given our critical waste service provision during the pandemic, it is fitting that we shift the focus from our energy generation capabilities. While our contribution to baseload electricity – and, in future, low carbon heating – is hugely significant, we are primarily a waste services company.

“We are proud to place the ‘Cory’ name at the front and centre of our brand, emphasising our founder’s legacy when he incorporated the company as W.M. Cory & Son in 1896.”

Cory last underwent a rebrand in February 2017, to put energy from waste (EfW) at the centre of its operations (see letsrecycle.com story). Since then, it was sold to a consortium of investors in June 2018 (see letsrecycle.com story).

Annual review

Cory’s annual review for 2020 details its business strategy, operational performance, sustainability priorities, governance, and consolidated financial results.

Cory’s EfW plant in Belvedere, southeast London

The company says its financial performance was “strong” for the year despite the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2020 it generated £129.4 million in underlying revenue and £62.5 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA). These were each down by 6% from £138.1 million and £66.9 million in 2019 respectively.

Cory’s 750,000 tonnes per year capacity Riverside EfW plant in Belvedere, southeast London, is one of the UK’s largest operational facilities. It uses river-based infrastructure on the Thames to transport waste. In April the company received approval from the Planning Inspectorate to build a second plant capable of processing more than 800,000 tonnes of residual waste per year next to its first (see letsrecycle.com story). Approval was granted on the condition the plant also captures heat.

Cory says it diverted 731,000 tonnes of residual waste from landfill at its Belvedere facility in 2020, down by 1% from 742,000 tonnes in 2019. This produced 501 GWh of electricity, enough to power the equivalent of 155,000 homes. One hundred and seventy thousand tonnes of ash were turned into aggregate for construction.

The company says its Riverside plant was available only 83% of the time in 2020 due to “planned maintenance works”, down from the 92% expected in a normal year.

Recycling

Cory says it also saw a “strong performance” across its recycling operations, sorting around 71,000 tonnes of recyclable waste at its materials recycling facility (MRF) in Wandsworth, southwest London, with further recyclables processed through two household waste recycling centres (HWRCs).

“I am proud that the Cory team has continued to deliver essential services through the pandemic”

Dougie Sutherland

Cory operates the MRF as part of its contract with the Western Riverside Waste Authority (WRWA), the statutory waste disposal authority for Hammersmith and Fulham, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Lambeth, and Wandsworth.

The company currently works directly with seven London boroughs, including Bexley, Tower Hamlets, and the City of London in addition to those listed above.

‘Remarkable response to Covid-19′

Commenting on the annual review, Mr Sutherland said: “Our response to the challenges of Covid-19 has been remarkable. Cory, together with our partners, stood up, pulled together and showed that adversity makes us stronger.

Above: Letsrecycle.com spoke with Dougie Sutherland about developments at Cory in March 2021

“We proved that Cory is an extremely resilient business, processing around 731,000 tonnes of residual waste – only 1.5% lower than our best-ever year – and sending more than 71,000 tonnes for recycling.

“I am proud that the Cory team has continued to deliver essential services through the pandemic and mitigate against any impact to our operations.

“Our 2020 performance is extremely encouraging, and I am excited about Cory’s future and our plans to invest £800 million into new projects in London and the South East.

“This investment will include a new EfW plant, which will be one of the lowest emitting in the UK, and the Riverside Heat Network which, in partnership with Vattenfall and London Borough of Bexley, will deliver low carbon heating to around 21,000 homes.”

Related links
Cory’s 2020 annual review

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