29 July 2016 by Lewis Deakin

Wheelabrator closes on Kemsley EfW facility

Wheelabrator Technologies has announced it has reached financial close on plans for a 550,000 tonnes per year energy-from-waste (EFW) facility at Kemsley in Kent, with construction work due to start next month (August).

The £340 million facility will be built and operated by US-owned EfW specialist Wheelabrator Technologies, which will have responsibility for sourcing an expected mix of municipal and commercial and industrial waste, as well as solid recovered fuel, as inputs for the plant.

An artists' impression of Wheelabrator Technologies energy-from-waste facility at Kemsley in Kent

An artists’ impression of Wheelabrator Technologies energy-from-waste facility at Kemsley in Kent

A combined heat and power facility, the plant will incorporate a two-line moving grate with thermal combustion capacity of 100MW per line.

According to Wheelabrator, the merchant facility will source waste from Kent and the South East of England that would otherwise have been sent to landfill sites or have been exported to Europe for treatment.

The K3 CHP Energy Recovery Facility is scheduled to begin operations in 2018, and is expected to create around 40 full time jobs The project is financed with an 18-year term loan from the Green Investment Bank, BTMU, Natixis and Investec, with an equity bridging loan provided by Barclays.


The Sittingbourne plant will provide steam for DS Smith’s adjacent Kemsley paper mill, as well as provide power to the National Grid (See letsrecycle.com story).

Commenting on the milestone, Robert Boucher chief executive and president of Wheelabrator, said: “To achieve financial close is a significant milestone and I’m very proud of our team for making this possible, and excited to welcome a second facility in the UK to our fleet.”

In February 2016 the company was awarded a ‘contract for difference’ by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).


The project was at the time one of 27 renewable energy projects to have secured funding from the first round of DECC’s £315 million auction, which was targeted at supporting the delivery of ‘green electricity’ infrastructure in the UK.

The facility was awarded a permit by the Environment Agency in 2011 (see letsrecycle.com story) and was later granted planning permission by Kent county council in March 2012.

Paul Green, Wheelabrator Technologies UK managing director, said: “We remain focused on continuing to develop our pipeline for growth in the UK and building long-lasting relationships, including the one we have with DS Smith.

“We are committed to bringing our experience and industry expertise to Wheelabrator Kemsley to deliver the highest safety and operational performance.”

CNIM Group is the EPC main contractor, while Clugston is to handle construction of the project when it begins next month.



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