15 January 2018 by Elizabeth Slow

Halfway point reached on Midlothian EfW plant

Construction of a state-of-the-art energy-from-waste plant at Millerhill, Midlothian, has reached an “advanced stage”, according to developers FCC.

The waste management firm said it is 15 months since development started on the Millerhill Recycling and Energy Recovery Centre (RERC), which will serve the City of Edinburgh and Midlothian councils.

(l-r) Councillor Russell Imrie, Midlothian council, cabinet member for zero waste; and Councillor Karen Doran, vice-convener of transport and environment for the City of Edinburgh council on a visit to the site last week

FCC signed a 25-year contract to deliver and operate the £142m plant in October 2016. In December 2016, letsrecycle.com reported work had begun on the facility (see letsrecycle.com story).

Construction

Engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) of the facility is being carried out by a joint venture formed by FCC Medio Ambiente SA and Hitachi Zosen Inova (HZI).

According to FCC, the main building has reached its full height with the first part of the roof structure having been installed at the end of December. Over the last six months a “vast amount” of specialist equipment has been delivered and installed in the facility, the company said.

The plant is set to enter full operation in 2019 and will treat around 135,000 tonnes of household residual waste and a further 20,000 tonnes of commercial waste each year. It will generate sufficient electricity to satisfy the energy demands of up to approximately 32,000 households, FCC said.

Construction will continue through 2018 – both councils expected to start delivering waste to the facility at the end of the year. The commissioning and testing phase will then get underway.

“Benefits”

Councillor Karen Doran, vice-convener of transport and environment for the City of Edinburgh council, said: “This project has clearly come on leaps and bounds, which is extremely encouraging. By working with our neighbouring council both areas will be able to recognise the benefits of this major energy-from-waste plant in the near future.

“We are committed to reducing the amount of rubbish 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.”

An artist’s impression of the new facility

Midlothian council’s cabinet member for zero waste, Councillor Russell Imrie, said the authority was “delighted” with the progress made on the facility.

“The plant is certainly becoming a new local landmark,” he said. “The project is a fantastic example of partnership working that will not only help both councils meet Zero Waste targets but also produce energy for the National Grid.”

Food waste

A separate facility, which takes all of the food waste collected by the partner councils, is already in operation on the neighbouring site to the RERC. It is hoped that the new facilities will treat both food and non-recyclable waste, and will help both authorities contribute to the national recycling target of 70% by 2025 and the national landfill diversion target of 95% by 2025.


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