9 October 2019 by Joshua Doherty

Market supports more EfW plants, says Viridor

Viridor has said that it is “analysing opportunities” for three new Energy from Waste (EfW) plants in the UK, claiming that the market supports more facilities.

The remark from the waste management firm came in its 2019 sustainability report, which was released on Friday (October 4).

The report explained that 2018 saw Viridor’s EfW plants in Glasgow, Beddington and Dunbar become operational, while its plant in Avonmouth is due for completion in 2020/21.

Viridor EfW Runcorn

Inside Viridor’s Runcorn EfW, which is the largest in the UK

Viridor said these Energy Recovery Facilities (ERFs) were the “culmination of an ambitious £1.5 billion of ERF investment, to build 11 plants across the UK”, and said plans are afoot to expand this.

Last month , the company unveiled plans to join with Grundon to develop an EfW in West Sussex (see letsrecycle.com story).

The report said: “We believe the market supports another phase of ERF development and are analysing opportunities for three new ERFs and for energy parks that would be able to service a range of energy-intensive facilities.”

The news from Viridor come amid a growing debate over energy from waste capacity in the UK, with many in the industry pointing towards a capacity gap (see letsrecycle.com story), while some corners of government and pressure groups are firmly against additional plants (see letsrecycle.com story).


“In recycling, the market dynamics are favourable with the ‘Blue Planet’ effect prompting interest and action from consumers, businesses, the public sector and governments alike.”

Phil Piddington, Viridor

Looking back over the 2018/19 financial year, Viridor said that its portfolio had delivered £155 million of earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), and recorded a 90% availability record in its EfW portfolio.

Viridor’s 2019 report highlights its investments in the industry, explaining it committed to a new £65 million plastics recycling facility, to be located at its Avonmouth site.

The plant will handle multi-stream plastics and produce 80,000 tonnes of recycled plastic pellets which will be sold to manufacturers of new products.

Viridor said it is also investing £15 million to refurbish its Mason’s materials recycling facility near Ipswich, serving Suffolk county council and its residents and partners.


In terms of future objectives, Viridor said it would like to demonstrate leadership in minimising emissions that contribute to climate change and developing climate change adaption strategies.

This is alongside plans to ensure it has a “positive economic, social and environmental impact and continuous positive action to prevent pollution”.

Commenting on the report, Phil Piddington, managing director of Viridor, said: “I am pleased to report another year of excellent progress across our UK recycling and waste operations. In recycling, the market dynamics are favourable with the ‘Blue Planet’ effect prompting interest and action from consumers, businesses, the public sector and governments alike.

“Our business activity supports growth of a regenerative circular economy that seeks to keep resources in economic use for as long as possible and to recover and regenerate materials and low-carbon energy at the end of their service life.”

Viridor Sustainability Report 2019

The report outlines Viridor’s progress and performance in the 2018/19 financial year

Useful links: 

Viridor Sustainability Report

RDF Conference

This year’s RDF conference, organised by letsrecycle.com and the RDF Industry Group will be held on 28 November 2019. More details here.


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