12 October 2020 by James Langley

Wheelabrator applies for Skelton Grange EfW permit

Wheelabrator Technologies has applied for an environmental permit for its proposed energy from waste (EfW) facility at Skelton Grange, near Leeds.

The proposed facility will process up to 410,000 tonnes per year of municipal solid waste, commercial waste, industrial waste, sewage sludge and non-infectious clinical waste. Acceptance of sewage sludge would be limited to a maximum of 15% of the throughput.

An artist’s impression of the proposed Skelton Grange facility

Wheelabrator says the site already has planning permission for a 300,000 tonnes per annum capacity energy-from-waste facility, with a bid to up this to 410,000 tonnes “expected to be determined later this year”.

Plans had previously been in place for a facility to be built at the site by the waste management company Biffa (see letsrecycle.com story). Approval for the facility was granted in 2013 but the development did not progress.


Wheelabrator submitted the application to the Environment Agency on Thursday, 8 October. A non-technical summary submitted as part of this reads: “WTI EfW Holdings Limited has instructed SLR Consulting Limited (SLR) to prepare a bespoke Environmental Permit (EP) application for the proposed Skelton Grange Energy from Waste (EfW) facility to be located at Skelton Grange near Leeds, under the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016 (as amended). The application is submitted in the name of WTI UK Ltd (WTI).”

The proposed facility is a project run by Multifuel Energy Limited 2, a joint venture between Wheelabrator and SSE Thermal.

The environmental permit application was submitted by WTI EfW Holdings Limited, a subsidiary set up by Wheelabrator to manage the proposed facility.

Skelton Grange

The site formerly housed the Skelton Grange power stations, which were taken out of use in 1983 and 1994. It was considered as a site for a new stadium for Leeds United in 2001.

Wheelabrator announced on 29 May 2019 that it had secured the rights to purchase 19.5 acres of land at the site from property developer Harworth Group (see letsrecycle.com story).


The facility will process waste using air-cooled, moving grate technology, Wheelabrator says. The energy recovered from the combustion of waste will be used in the form of high-pressure steam to produce electrical power through a steam turbine and generator unit. The facility will have the capability to provide combined heat and power through a blanking flange and heat/steam export from the turbine.

An agreement has been signed with the Irish-owned waste management company Beauparc to act as the sole supplier to the facility.

Multifuel Energy

Skelton Grange is less than 15 miles from Ferrybridge 1 and Ferrybridge 2, which are part of the Multifuel Energy Limited 1 joint venture between Wheelabrator Technologies and SSE Thermal.

Ferrybridge 1 commenced commercial operations in July 2015 and Ferrybridge 2 reached full commercial operations in December 2019. Each facility processes 675,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste per year.


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