Viridor’s latest energy-from-waste facility in Exeter was officially opened at an on-site inauguration ceremony today (October 16).
Developed on the Marsh Barton Trading Estate, the £45 million EfW plant has the capacity to treat around 60,000 tonnes of residual waste per year on behalf of Devon county council.
It comes as part of long-term deal signed between Taunton-based Viridor and the county council in July 2011, which will see the facility generate 3MW an hour for export to the National Grid.
The council also has plans to establish a district heating network in Marsh Barton, which will utilise the steam generated by the CHP-enabled plant.
The plant received its first waste delivery from the council in April 2014, with operations starting in July (see letsrecycle.com story). Today, delegates from the county council, Viridor, and initial operating company TIRU assembled alongside local community representatives to celebrate its official unveiling.
Attending the ceremony, Ian McAulay, chief executive of Viridor said: “We want people to see waste differently and as a resource, not just the spoils of everyday life waiting for disposal.
“Each year, Viridor recycles over 2 million tonnes of materials and transforms more into 820 gigawatt hours of renewable energy. Our partnership here with Devon County Council and TIRU will contribute to that achievement for years to come.”
Marie Mugler, chief executive of TIRU, added: “This plant will produce significant amounts of renewable energy from Exeter’s waste, which will go back into the grid. Now, with Exeter open, TIRU will produce over 1300 MW of renewable energy from 3.3million tonnes of waste. A very effective and environmental way to stop wasting waste.”
Minister for energy and climate change, Baroness Verna, is also expected to visit the facility later today – in order to tour the plant and officially open the education and visitor area.
She is expected to say that the EfW plant will help Devon county council maintain its position as one of the top five authorities in the country for recycling, and welcome the education centre as an important tool to inform future generations on the importance of recycling.
The opening of the Exeter plant is due to be followed by Viridor’s Trident Park EfW in Cardiff, which is currently undergoing hot commissioning. Once operational, the plant will treat some 172,000 tonnes of residual waste from Newport, Caerphilly, Cardiff, Monmouthshire and Vale of Glamorgan councils (see letsrecycle.com story).