21 August 2019 by Will Date

Viridor cuts ribbon on Glasgow energy facility

The Glasgow Recycling and Renewable Energy Centre (GRREC) operated by Viridor at Polmadie on the south side of Glasgow has been officially opened this week.

Susan Aitken, the leader of Glasgow city council attended the ribbon cutting for the facility yesterday (20 August) for the 200,000 tonnes per year capacity energy recovery facility, which has been in development since 2011.

Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow city council and Phil Piddington, managing director of Viridor at the opening of the GRREC

The city council – Scotland’s largest local authority – and Viridor signed a £254 million, 25-year contract for the treatment of the city’s waste in July 2012 (see letsrecycle.com story). The plant was awarded planning permission in 2013, and had been initially expected to be completed in 2016.

Delays to the plant were experienced due to the demise of its project contractor, Interserve.


GRREC comprises three separate lines, which sees residual waste treated to produce a Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF). RDF is then passed through an Advanced Conversion Facility (ACF), which heats the RDF creating a gas which is captured and combusted to generate steam which powers a turbine to generate electricity.

The plant also has an anaerobic digestion facility using bacteria to break down organic waste and release methane for fuel to generate renewable electricity

Commenting on the opening of the facility yesterday, Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow city council, said: “Today marks a historic milestone for Glasgow as it becomes a leader in recycling and renewable energy technology. The GRREC will transform the way in which we manage waste in our city and will be crucial to helping us deliver against the ban on municipal waste going to landfill due to come into effect in 2021.

“Our commitment to the GRREC demonstrates how the council will work with Viridor and our partners in the coming years to ensure Glasgow can take further major steps towards becoming the most sustainable city in Europe.”

An external shot of the GRREC at Polmadie

Phil Piddington, managing director of Viridor, said: “The GRREC epitomises Viridor’s vision of attaching a real purpose to all waste – separating valuable recyclable material, food and organic waste and giving waste which cannot be recycled a crucial role in generating low carbon electricity.

“In this way, we contribute to Glasgow and Scotland’s goals in terms of both resource and energy efficiency, translating ambition into action and achievement. This new plant is an environmental success story and provides a massive carbon reduction bonus for the city as we play our part in efforts to tackle climate change.”


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