Plans for two separate Energy from Waste (EfW) facilities with a combined tonnage of more than a million tonnes have taken a step forward.
Wheelabrator Technologies today (1 November) launched a public consultation on a proposed 500,000 tonne facility at the A303 Enviropark, six miles east of Andover. The application, claimed the company, is to be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate during Q1 2020. It is proposed for land owned by Raymond Brown Waste Solutions.
Separately, MVV Environment has today announced plans for an EfW plant which could process more than 500,000 tonnes of waste at Wisbech, Cambridgeshire. The company said it will launch consultations ahead of submitting proposals to the Inspectorate in Q4 2020.
The development have prompted industry suggestions that the two plants are a reflection of the waste treatment industry putting forward projects in the face of a ‘capacity gap’ for residual treatment seen as existing in England, particularly in its southern half.
US-owned company Wheelabrator explained that the ‘Wheelabrator Harewood’ plant would “divert up to 500,000 tonnes of residual household and business waste from landfill or export” and instead use it to generate energy equivalent to the needs of over 110,000 homes.
A statement from Wheelabrator said: “This second stage consultation follows an initial consultation, which was held in February and March of this year. Since then, Wheelabrator has reviewed the public’s comments, and undertaken a significant number of technical assessments to develop more detail on what the facility could look like”.
Key changes include a reduction in the overall height of both the building itself and the stacks. Wheelabrator has also “reacted to feedback” on how the facility could look and is now presenting enhanced architectural designs.
Commenting on the plant, Wheelabrator Technologies vice president for business development, Paul Green, said: “Our research shows that, even after all the Government’s recycling targets have been met, there will be around 900,000 tonnes of waste that’s being generated every year by Hampshire and the counties that are its immediate neighbours. Our proposals represent an environmentally responsible opportunity to divert a large proportion of this waste from being sent to landfill or exported overseas.”
Elsewhere, MVV’s plans are for a combined heat and power facility in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, which will process more than 500,000 tonnes if it goes ahead.
German-owned MVV will now liaise with local residents and other stakeholders before submitting an application to the planning inspectorate. It is anticipated that construction will take around three years, during this time employing up to 700 people.
If it goes ahead, the plant will generate more than 50 megawatts of electricity and offer the opportunity to supply steam to local factories.
Commenting on the plans, MVV’s managing director Paul Carey said: “This is an exciting time for MVV in the UK. We have demonstrated our ability to deliver such projects in Plymouth, Sittingbourne and Dundee, and look forward to engaging with the local community to explain our proposals and seek their views.”
Around £300 million of funding has already been secured for the facility, which will have a 40-year life span.
Today’s steps forward for the two plants come amid what is seen as a ‘capacity gap’ in the market, with various estimates in place showing that more EfW facilities are needed to deal with residual waste.
Commenting, Adrian Judge, director at Tolvik Consulting, said: “Following a number of EfW projects being announced in the last two years or so in the north of England, recent developments suggest that the market has now acknowledged that the capacity gap there is likely to be filled and so has switched its attention to central and southern England – where earlier this year Tolvik projected earlier the capacity gap was greatest.”
“Following a number of EfW projects being announced in the north of England, recent developments suggest that the market has switched its attention to central and southern England”
Mr Judge added: “Of course there remains a great deal for a developer to do to take a planning application through to actually starting construction – and the key remains sourcing sufficient waste to make a project attractive to investors. Here we are seeing the market looking at transporting waste over longer distances in increasingly innovative ways to achieve this.”