A £72 million energy from waste plant designed to handle all of Peterborough’s non-recyclable household waste has officially begun operations.
Viridor’s Peterborough Energy Recovery Facility in Fengate will treat up to 85,000 tonnes of residual waste per year, generating up to 7MW for the National Grid.
The plant, which will serve the East Midlands city for the next 30 years, is part of a 30-year Public Private Partnership deal signed by Viridor in February 2013.
Peterborough currently produces approximately 90,000 tonnes of waste per year, which is set to increase to 140,000 tonnes by 2040. Around 40% is currently recycled, with the remaining tonnes of residual waste until now sent to landfill.
Construction of the facility by Babcock & Wilcox Volund began in late 2013, and underwent commissioning last month.
Despite announcement of its completion, the plant must still undergo further reliability testing to ensure operations are in line with the guaranteed plant specifications.
Alan Cumming, Capital Projects director for Viridor, said: “Peterborough ERF is a great new asset for our partners Peterborough City Council. It is fantastic to see another world-class facility delivered safely and on schedule, this is the sixth ERF Viridor has delivered in the last 18 months.
“The project has delivered a significant economic boost for the area with over 250 workers employed during the construction phase, and will provide 28 full time jobs and ongoing supply chain opportunities now the facility is operational.”
Councillor John Holdich, leader of Peterborough City Council added that the plant would help towards Peterborough’s goal of becoming the UK’s Environment Capital and its ambitions towards a decentralised energy network.
Peterborough City Council, which led the way in developing an innovative funding model for the project, and will receive income from the sale of electricity to the National Grid.
He said: “The energy from waste facility gives Peterborough a much needed alternative to landfill. Rather than sending waste to landfill, it will be turned into electricity saving the city £1 million every year for the next three decades.
“Working closely with Viridor and our partners at every stage has seen the site successfully delivered on time and on budget, while offering the best in terms of technology, operation and community engagement.”