Financial close has been reached on the Rivenhall energy from waste project in Essex, operator Indaver announced today (14 January).
Indaver will design, build and operate the energy from waste (EfW) plant and is the 100% owner of the project, which will be built in the footprint of an existing quarry in Rivenhall. The plant will have a capacity of 595,000 tonnes per annum, generating 49.9 MWe.
The new facility will have a significant impact on residual waste flows in the London and Essex region. It is due to be fully operational by the end of 2025. The company said it would “offer a local solution for non-recyclable residual waste which until now has been disposed of in regional landfills or exported abroad for treatment”.
The project will be realised through Indaver Rivenhall Ltd, a UK subsidiary of the Belgium-based Indaver Group. The company will lease the land from the original project developer Gent Fairhead, which has retained an option to develop part of the site further for a separate facility. This would use a heat offtake from the EfW plant.
All necessary permits – planning permission, an Environment Agency permit and an electricity connection offer – are in place to allow the development to move to the construction phase, Indaver said.
“We are looking forward to work starting on the site later this year.”
John Ahern, Indaver’s UK business development director, said: “We are pleased to have reached financial close with Gent Fairhead & Co and are looking forward to work starting on the site later this year.”
Similar sentiments were expressed by Gent Fairhead & Co’s financial director Richard Gudgeon, who remarked: “We look forward to working in partnership with Indaver to develop the facility.”
Indaver has been advised on the transaction by PwC (financial), Herbert Smith Freehills (legal) and Fichtner, ARUP and RPS (technical).
Indaver are financing the project on balance sheet with around £500m of total investment expected.
A contract for site development works (which include road, electricity and other utilities) is due to start later this year. This will be the first phase of a four-and-a-half-year construction programme. The EfW facility is due to begin commissioning in early 2025.
The facility is to use moving grate technology. While this is traditional within the EfW sector, Indaver remarked the grate technology would be the “most efficient” and that there would be “a state of the art gas cleaning system to ensure it will operate to the highest environmental standards.” The project has a long history with some local opposition and changes to the height of the stack (see letsrecycle.com story).
The Rivenhall project is Indaver’s third EfW project in the UK. The company is the last remaining bidder for a £240 million local authority residual waste treatment project in Belfast, Northern Ireland, which is due a planning decision in 2021. In 2019 the contract to operate a local authority EfW facility in Aberdeen, Scotland, was awarded to Indaver. It is now under construction and will be operational in 2022.
Indaver currently has facilities and operations in Belgium, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands and Portugal. The company is also currently developing waste treatment infrastructure in other European countries, including the UK.
On its Irish projects, Indaver explained: “At Meath, to the north of Dublin, Ireland, Indaver already runs a 240,000 tonne EfW facility and intends to build a similar operation in Cork, in the South of Ireland. Building this facility will allow Ireland to acquire a state-of-the-art treatment facility that will offer a sustainable solution for the non-recyclable residual waste produced in the region.”