By Will Date
Work is set to begin on two large-scale energy from waste (EfW) projects early in 2013, following planning decisions in North West England and Scotland earlier this week.
But, a third facility proposed for a site near Belfast in Northern Ireland, was refused planning permission by Northern Irish Environment Minister.
Yesterday (October 2), the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) approved consent for the construction of a 600,000 tonne-a-year capacity energy from waste incinerator on the site of a former coal-fired power station at Lostock, Northwich.
Plans for the facility were submitted by Tata Chemicals Europe and E.ON Energy From Waste UK Limited, and once completed the plant will produce around 60MW of power from municipal solid waste and industrial and commercial waste.
Commenting on the proposals, a DECC spokesman said: It is essential we have a balanced energy mix in the future to provide low cost, efficient energy to households and businesses.
This plant takes waste and turns it into something of great value enough power to supply 80,000 homes – and in addition creates jobs for the local community.
The plant is expected to be operational towards the end of 2016 and will create around 500 jobs during construction and 50 permanent operating jobs.
Meanwhile, East Lothian council has given permission to waste management firm Viridor to amend plans to its proposed 200 million energy from waste facility at the Oxwellmains landfill site in eastern Scotland.
Planning permission had been granted for the facility by the Scottish Government in December 2010, but the plans had included a catchment area condition restricting the area from which the plant could source its waste.
Following a revision of policy by the Scottish Government and Scottish Environment Protection Agency allowing facilities to draw waste from all over Scotland, the council has given approval for the condition to be removed from the plans.
Work on the facility, which will have the capacity to treat 300,000 tonnes of waste, is expected to begin in 2013, and once completed, the plant will create 47 permanent jobs.
Colin Paterson, the companys Scottish regional director, said: Viridor is committed to leading investment in Scottish ‘next generation’ green infrastructure to translate Scotland’s zero waste plan into practice.
The decision by East Lothian Council to approve the policy alignment on waste reception is both in line with Scottish Government and SEPA policy, and reflects a common sense approach which has long operated across Scotland including by East Lothian Council.
It marks an important step in the programmed delivery of advanced technologies across Scotland which aligns with waste reduction, re-use, enhanced recycling and recovery of renewable energy from what remains.
In Belfast, Northern Ireland Environment Minister Alex Attwood refused permission for a 140,000 tonne-a-year capacity EfW incineration plant at Bullyutoag Road, due to the likely visual and environmental impact of the development of the facility on the surrounding area.
The plant, which had been proposed by Irish Recycling Services, was called in for review by Mr Attwood in August 2011.
Commenting on his decision, Mr Attwood said: I have given very careful consideration to this proposal, interrogating all the issues and have concluded that its excessive scale and resultant visual impact would be detrimental to the character of the surrounding countryside area.”