And, the West Lothian-based waste management company has pledged to invest £4 million into the facility, which was closed in 2013 due to “weak economic activity”. Levenseat hopes to reopen the revamped plant later this year.
According to the Avondale website, the facility in Falkirk is capable of producing refuse derived fuel (RDF) to be used in energy from waste (EfW) projects overseas.
The facility is based on the same site as a landfill, which will remain under Avondale Environmental’s control. The site also enjoys planning permission for an EfW facility.
Levenseat explained that the facility will almost double its current sorting line capacity. The company operates a 100,000 tonne per year capacity MRF at its combined heat and power plant in central Scotland, and a 50,000 tonnes ‘container MRF’ near Forth in Lanarkshire.
Levenseat’s managing director, Angus Hamilton, said: “Today’s acquisition of the materials recycling facility, which includes the land and associated equipment at the Falkirk site, is a core part of our ambitious strategy.
“We are proud to announce our plans to further automate and upgrade the facility and bring a number of skilled jobs to the site.
“This will ensure we can fully maximise its capacity to further support customers’ recycling objectives and play our part in the circular economy.
“We will build on our experience and expertise in this area to implement innovative approaches to ensure we maximise recovery from any waste stream going through the new site for recycling or conversion into energy.”
Levenseat said today it will work with Turmec to carry out refurbishment and installation of new equipment at the MRF.
The company added that it will introduce new technologies and automated processes at the Falkirk site, where it plans to create up to 50 skilled jobs.
Under Levenseat’s management, the facility will accept waste from existing customers and will also enable the company to expand its public and private sector business across central Scotland.
Trevor Smart Head of Sales for Turmec in the UK said: “We’re delighted to be working with Levenseat to upgrade its new MRF.
“This project will involve implementing the latest technology to ensure the new site will operate efficiently and at maximum capacity further underlining Levenseat’s position as a leading Scottish resource management business.”
As part of the redevelopment, the facility will be able to accept a wider range of materials.
This includes bulky waste, which has traditionally been difficult to recycle and has often ended up in landfill. The Falkirk site will also process mixed household, commercial, industrial, construction and demolition waste.
Levenseat’s acquisition of the MRF is being supported with financing from Virgin Money.
Sandra Gardiner, relationship manager at Virgin Money said: “Levenseat Ltd is an exciting business with clear ambitions for future growth and we are delighted to continue supporting them, both with the purchase of the new materials recycling facility in Falkirk and their plan to modernise the site to create a first-class efficient recycling facility.”
In 2013, letsrecycle.com reported that Avondale was seeking funding to reopen the £20m MRF (see letsrecycle.com story).
The facility ceased operations in May 2013, with Avondale chief executive John Holt citing increasing operating costs and a reduction in the volume and market value of recyclable materials for the closure.
In 2017, Whitehead Restoration Limited of Wigan – part of the wider NPL Group – acquired a 100% shareholding in Avondale Holdings (see letsrecycle.com story).
The wider Avondale group owns and operates two landfill sites and a renewable energy centre.