23 November 2015 by Michael Holder

Norfolk council approves RDF export contracts

Norfolk councillors have approved contracts that will see up to 160,000 tonnes per year of the county’s waste processed into refuse derived fuel (RDF) and exported to Germany and the Netherlands.

Council map showing proposed network of transfer stations to process waste into RDF

Council map showing proposed network of transfer stations to process waste into RDF

Members of the council’s Environment, Development and Transport Committee on Friday (November 20) voted to provisionally award three waste contracts worth a total of £68 million over the course of four years.

The deals will see waste processed into RDF within Norfolk at FCC’s waste transfer station at Costessy, aggregates company Frimstone’s waste transfer station at Wisbech and RDF firm Seneca’s waste transfer station at Rackheath from April 2016.

It is hoped that this will help to save around £2 million each year in waste management costs compared to the current arrangements, which the council claim costs £39 million each year.

Under the arrangements, the RDF will then be exported to R1 combined heat and power (CHP) plants in Europe and will bring an end to the council’s current landfilling of waste in the county at Aldeby.


In addition, Norfolk will continue to send 40,000 tonnes of its residual waste each year to SUEZ’s Great Blakenham energy from waste (EfW) plant near Ipswich, Suffolk, under an arrangement with Suffolk county council which runs until 2020.

Norfolk will also continue sending a further 10,000 tonnes of waste each year to Great Blakenham via an agreement with council-owned joint company Norse, as well as around 3,000 tonnes of waste per year to FCC’s Allington EfW facility, until 2016.

These waste disposal arrangements follow Norfolk’s controversial decision in April 2014 to scrap plans for a 268,000 tonnes per year capacity EfW plant in King’s Lynn after Defra pulled funding for the project, which was developed under a £500 million, 25-year deal with consortium Cory Wheelabrator (see letsrecycle.com story).

Norfolk councillor Toby Coke said last week that the authority still needed to “pin down” its long term strategy for dealing with the county’s waste beyond 2020 amid an expected growth in waste generation, but that the RDF deals would provide “breathing space” in the short term (see letsrecycle.com story).


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