21 February 2020 by James Langley

Vital Energi to build Burton EfW plant

UK-based energy firm Vital Energi has announced plans to build a 169,000 tonnes per year capacity energy from waste plant near Burton-on-Trent.

Through a process of gasification, the Drakelow Energy from Waste plant is due to generate 18MWe from refuse derived fuel (RDF).

The Drakelow Energy from Waste Plant is scheduled for completion by 2023

Ashley Malin, Vital Energi’s project development director, said: “The UK faces many environmental challenges and this facility is an exciting opportunity to reduce carbon emissions and divert waste from landfill.

“We are extremely excited to be delivering and operating this facility, which will make a positive contribution to the UK’s low-carbon infrastructure.

“We have worked with a team of industry experts in the energy from waste sector to bring this project to market and we would like to thank them for their contributions to deliver a major project that will contribute to the UK’s low carbon infrastructure.”

Scheduled to become operational in 2023, the plant is to be built on land leased from utilities firm E.ON UK and run by Vital Energi for 30 years.

Power station

The plant has been designed by Vital Energi and will be built, owned and operated by the company.

The plant is to be built on land leased from E.ON

It is to be built on the site of a now demolished coal-fired power station, which was acquired by E.ON in 2001 following its takeover of Powergen.

Dutch engineering consultancy firm Royal Haskoning has been the technical adviser on the project so far, and Vital Energi says it will have a key role going forwards to ensure correct standards are adhered to throughout the construction process.


The RDF used in the gasification process is to be supplied solely by Irish-owned waste management company Beauparc Group.

Beauparc is described by Vital Energi as the UK and Ireland’s leading producer and exporter of RDF and SRF. It is said to supply more than 1.3m tonnes of fuel annually to contracts throughout Ireland, the UK, European and worldwide markets.

Beauparc supports its production of RDF and SRF through the annual collection and treatment of 4 million tonnes of waste from its UK and Ireland network of waste management sites. The group includes AWM, Mid UK Recycling and Panda.

During gasification, syngas produced by the combustion of RDF is consumed by a boiler to create steam. This is used to drive a steam turbine and generate electricity.

The Drakelow plant has been designed to capture heat generated during the process, which will be used to provide heating and hot water for nearby developments should the demand arise.


Based in Blackburn, Vital Energi says it designs, installs and operates decentralised energy generation and distribution schemes.

Having operated for more than 30 years, the company produces heat for a broad range of clients, including in the healthcare, education, industrial, commercial, residential and local authority markets.

Infrastructure will be on the agenda at the Resource Infrastructure Conference, to be held on 24 March. More information can be found here.


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