11 September 2017

Rivenhall EfW granted Environmental Permit

A 595,000 tonnes per year capacity energy from waste (EfW) facility in Essex has been granted an Environmental Permit.

Today (11 September), the Environment Agency approved the permit for developers Gent Fairhead & Co Limited at Rivenhall Airfield, near Braintree.

The permit has been issued to the company following the Agency’s public consultation over the draft permit issued on 20 June 2017.

Images of the Alucobond reflective cladding that will be used to hide the IWMF stack into the landscape

According to Gent Fairhead, the environmental permit relates to a revised stack height of 58 metres above surrounding ground level, and addresses all consultation responses raised by local councilors and members of the public who, in particular, had expressed concern about the height of the stack.

The Hertfordshire-based company has encountered a number of setbacks with the waste facility, which it has been attempting to develop since the 1990s but now has moved forward significantly with the permit approval.

In December 2016 the Environment Agency refused an environmental permit for the facility. The Agency said Gent Fairhead & Co failed to show how they would use Best Available Technique (BAT) to minimise emissions from the facility mainly because a chimney stack of 35-metres was proposed.

Higher stack

The Environment Agency said the plant should incorporate a higher chimney stack measuring a minimum of 70-metres – equivalent to those of similar facilities of its size. (see letsrecycle.com story)

Today, the company said a planning application to increase the height of the IWMF stack to 58 metres above surrounding ground level is currently being considered by Essex county council.

The details of this planning application are ‘entirely consistent’ with the environmental permit.  Gent Fairhead said all other aspects of the proposed development, including the principle of locating the IWMF on this site, are fully approved under the existing (and implemented) planning permission.

Images of the early construction works

A spokesperson for Gent Fairhead said: “The planning application to vary the stack height by an additional 23 metres will align the planning permission to the details of the environmental permit.  As before, there will only be one stack, clad and completed in the reflective materials with no visible plume.”

The Integrated Waste Management Facility (IWMF) is designed to burn solid recovered fuel (SRF) and refuse derived fuel (RDF) and also incorporates a mechanical biological treatment (MBT) plant, an anaerobic digestion plant and a recovered paper pulping facility.

Two lines

According to an introductory note, published by the Environment Agency, the waste incineration plant will have a design capacity to process up to 595,000 tonnes of non-hazardous RDF and SRF. The plant will comprise two lines with moving grate furnace technology and boilers, each of a thermal input of 92 MW that will generate steam, with a turbine capacity for electricity generation of 49 MWe as well as heat supply in the form of high-pressure steam (35 MW) to the paper pulp plant and waste water treatment plant. It is expected about 28 MWe electricity will be exported to the grid.

Combustion gases from the waste incineration plant will be cleaned before being emitted to atmosphere.

Point source emissions from the waste incineration plant, paper plant and AD facility will be routed via one windshield, 58 metres above surrounding ground levels (total height from base is 78 metres).

Pollutants from the waste incineration plant including oxides of nitrogen, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, sulphur dioxide, hydrogen chloride, ammonia and total organic carbon will be continuously monitored.

According to Gent Fairhead, construction works have already started.  This has included widening roads for site access and the diversion of high voltage electricity and water mains around the site. The site has been cleared ready for the main civil engineering works to commence in the next few months.

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