The Levenseat Waste Management Facility in Scotland has been given permission to increase its capacity to 750,000 tonnes of waste per year.
The site at Forth in Lanark had previously been given an annual restriction of 400,000 tonnes of waste, but an expansion has been given the go-ahead by West Lothian council.
There will be no physical change to the proposed energy from waste gasification plant, which has already been given planning permission.
The increased capacity, said Levenseat Ltd, will allow the business to take advantage of Scotland’s municipal waste landfill ban from 2021, which will see local authorities and commercial waste producers needing additional treatment solutions.
Of the 750,000 tonnes it is proposed that 500,000 will be directed to Levenseat’s thermal treatment plant. 35,000 tonnes will be sent to landfill. The remaining waste would be recycled or used in processes like composting.
This means that though the overall tonnage taken in will rise, the company said that the amount of waste being sent to landfill would be halved due to the improvement of waste processes on the site – such as the thermal treatment plants.
Angus Hamilton, managing director at Levenseat, said the decision would allow the site the flexibility needed to meet its anticipated growth.
He added: “This is an exciting time for Levenseat as phase one of the waste treatment facility nears completion of commissioning.
“Levenseat have experienced rapid growth over the past two years and we have seen a significant increase in demand for our services; in response, we are happy to announce our expansion plans which include the addition of a second phase of our power plant facility to complement the existing infrastructure.”
Mr Hamilton said he expected to see financial close on phase two later this year and that the facility would be running by 2023.
West Lothian council’s report on the proposed expansion found that there would be minimal increase in traffic despite more waste being taken in by the site.
They predicted that “in the worst case” there would be an overall increase in traffic of 0.5%. This includes less than 10% growth in existing HGV movements at the junction of the A706 and A71 and a 5.1% increase in HGV traffic in the nearby town of Whitburn.
There will be no impact upon air quality management areas, partly due to the very small effect the expansion will have upon the road network, the report noted.
When plans for the Levenseat facility were announced in 2015 it was hailed as the first plant of its kind in Scotland. (see letsrecycle.com story).