7 August 2020 by James Langley

Wheelabrator allowed to raise Kemsley throughput

Wheelabrator Technologies has been granted a permit variation by the Environment Agency for its Kemsley energy from waste (Efw) which will see its throughput increase from 550,000 to 657,000 tonnes annually.

This will be achieved through an increase of available operating hours from 8,000 to 8,760 hours per annum at the Kent facility which is near Sittingbourne and is run by K3 CHP Operations Limited, a subsidiary of Wheelabrator Technologies. A Development Consent Order is also needed by the plant.

A decision document published by the Environment Agency states: “We have decided to grant the variation for Kemsley Generating Station operated by K3 CHP Operations Limited.

“We consider in reaching that decision we have taken into account all relevant considerations and legal requirements and that the permit will ensure that the appropriate level of environmental protection is provided.”

The company’s move to increase capacity at the facility reflects a number of requests to raise capacity throughputs at other EfW plants by the UK waste management industry more broadly.

The Kemsley EfW plant by the DS Smith paper mill


The Environment Agency says the facility will incinerate up to 657,000 tonnes of waste per year in two incineration lines. The wastes incinerated will be treated municipal waste, treated commercial and industrial waste, shredded recovered fuel (SRF) and waste from the adjacent paper mill.

The facility forms part of the Kemsley paper mill installation.

The Environment Agency says the plant, on which construction started in 2016, is now in the final stages of commissioning. Wheelabrator announced it had entered full commercial operation last month (see letsrecycle.com story)


Wheelabrator Technologies is also awaiting a Development Consent Order for the additional waste capacity and electrical output for the Kemsley facility. A decision on the application is expected in 2021.

Currently, the combined heat and power facility will generate up to 49.9MW of electricity for Kent and the South East.

It will also provide up to 70 tonnes per hour of steam heat to DS Smith’s adjacent Kemsley Paper Mill.

Wheelabrator Technologies was contacted for comment.


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