10 September 2020 by Steve Eminton

Portland EfW application submitted to Dorset

A planning application has been submitted to the unitary authority of Dorset council for an energy from waste facility at Portland.

Dorset has a lack of domestic residual waste infrastructure and currently waste is sent as RDF to Europe or to domestic energy from waste facilities including Veolia’s Marchwood site near Southampton. This lack of facilities within Dorset is a point highlighted by the company behind the Portland project.

And, in the face of some local concerns, Powerfuel Portland has said “the Powerfuel Portland facility will not discourage existing high levels of recycling achieved in Dorset from continuing”.

Steve McNab, one of the two director’s of Powerfuel Portland, said: “This application is the result of months of work to deliver a sustainable solution to Dorset’s and the UK’s waste problem. There is major under-capacity in the UK for ERFs, with 2.7 million tonnes of waste exported to the EU every year and 14.5 million tonnes still being sent to landfill.

“All of Dorset’s residual waste (after recycling) is currently sent out of the county and/or country for processing.”

An impression of the proposed energy from waste plant at Portland, Dorset

RDF feedstock

The Portland ERF would take 183,000 tonnes per annum of refuse derived fuel (RDF) and use it to generate low carbon energy, reducing the need to use fossil fuels such as coal and gas. Maximum throughput would be 202,000 tonnes.

The proposed Energy Recovery Facility will be developed on an existing 6 hectare brownfield site at Portland Port, which has previously been consented for a facility to incinerate rubber crumb. Construction is proposed to start from the first half of 2021 with hot commissioning in the second half of 2023.

We have also gone to great lengths to limit any visual impact from the facility

Giles Frampton, Powerfuel Portland


Giles Frampton, the other director of Powerfuel Portland, said: “There are over 40 similar energy recovery facilities s already operating safely in the UK, of which the Portland ERF would be one of the new generation, most advanced facilities. All ERFs operate under strict regulations and are constantly monitored to ensure there is no negative impact on health or the environment.

“During our pre-application consultation with local residents there was some unease about the emissions levels from the facility’s stack. To further limit the potential that emissions from the ERF could have any measurable impact on air quality or local ecology, Powerfuel has increased the height of the stack to improve the emission dispersion. We have also gone to great lengths to limit any visual impact from the facility and our revised architectural designs show the facility will be in-keeping with its surroundings.”


Powerfuel said it “appreciates that there have been some concerns about the project raised by local residents, along with some misinformation about the ERF.”

The company said: “The application clarifies that:

  • Merchant facilities such as the proposed ERF do not reduce recycling rates
  • The maximum increase in traffic to service the ERF amounts to just 0.4% of current daily traffic movements
  • The heat from the ERF will be available for local facilities and community venues for heating
  • The ERF will also be able to provide shore power to ships docked at Portland Port. This will alleviate the need for ships to burn large volumes of diesel when docked to keep their generators running, improving the air quality and reducing the use of fossil fuels.”

Little is known about the company behind the project, which was set up last year. Giles Frampton is also a director of Renewable Connections which operates c/o London-based business Armstrong Energy which has links to Armstrong Capital.

Waste Plan

Dorset’s Waste Plan last year with Christchurch, Poole and Bournemouth identified capacity of 150,000 tonnes at Canford Magna plus capacity at four sites of 385,000 tonnes “existing waste management facilities providing potential for redevelopment or intensification”. These are thought to include Eco Sustainable Solutions at Parley: Mannings Heath industrial estate, Poole; and Binnegar environmental park, East Stoke. Portland is not thought to be included in the list of allocated waste sites in the plan.


Last week, Eco Sustainable Solutions, which operates from one of the sites included in Dorset’s waste plant at Parley, unveiled plans for a 60,000 tonnes per year capacity energy from waste (EfW) plant in Parley, Dorset.

Eco Sustainable Solutions said the proposed facility would play a key role in tackling the region’s waste in the years to come (see letsrecycle.com story)


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