Onyx Hampshire's Chineham ERF wins the accolades

Waste-to-energy companies seeking to negotiate the pitfalls of developing facilities within what can often be initially hostile communities, could well take a leaf out of Onyx Hampshire's book when it comes to gaining acceptance of going for the energy recovery option through waste incineration. The first of the three-plant development playing a major role in dealing with Hampshire's waste disposal has been winning the accolades, including the prestigious Brunel Medal awarded by the ICE.

The latest feather in the cap for the Onyx Environmental Group is BS EN ISO 9001:2000 and BS EN ISO 14001:1996 certification at the first of its three Energy Recovery Facilities.

The Integra North Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) at Chineham, near Basingstoke, operated by Onyx Hampshire, has been awarded the internationally recognised standards for quality and environmental management which place emphasis on service delivery, protection of the environment, compliance with legislation and the need to demonstrate continual improvement.

Onyx, which has a commitment to gain both ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 at all facilities, states that this process is achieved through the implementation of an Integrated Management System combining quality, environment and health and safety. Tim Compton, Management System manager for Onyx, said that the certification. "marks a major milestone in the development of our sites in Hampshire and clearly demonstrates our commitment to quality assurance and environmental management. "Integra North represents the first of three ERFs to be included within this corporate certification and has set the standard for future success."

Integra North ERF, which commenced operation in January 2003, was officially opened by HRH The Princess Royal in September 2003. The multi-million pound facility has the capacity to process 90,000 tonnes of waste from the north of the county each year. It recovers waste which cannot be traditionally recycled and generates around 8MW of electricity for the local grid, enough to power more than 8,000 homes.

Integra North, together with the second and third facilities, Marchwood near Southampton, and Portsmouth (both due to become fully operational later this year), forms an intrinsic part of the strategy to manage Hampshire's waste into the new millennium.

Development of the county's three ERFs has been driven by a lack of landfill space and an ever-increasing rise in the amount of waste we all produce, with a significant proportion going to landfill.

The Hampshire Waste Strategy, known as "Project Integra", is an integrated waste management system which provides sustainable waste management for all domestic waste in the county.

Project Integra is a partnership between Hampshire County Council, two Unitary Authorities of Southampton and Portsmouth, the 11 District Councils, and Hampshire Waste Services, part of Onyx Environmental Group.

Brunel Medal award

The prestigious Brunel Medal, which recognises excellence in civil engineering, was awarded by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) last year for the construction of the new ERF at Basingstoke.

The Brunel Medal was originated by The Society of Civil Engineering Technicians (SCET) in 1981 for either individuals or firms which have shown excellence in civil engineering.

John Collis, Director for Onyx Hampshire, said: "We are delighted and extremely proud to have been awarded this medal.

"The facility has a variety of architectural advances, from light reflective cladding and grass roof to the use of curves and colours to soften impact. It provides an alternative to landfill, but allows for the sustainable production of energy through the disposal of waste", he added.

Another aspect of the infrastructure programme being carried out by Onyx under its 27-year contract with Project Integra, is a new Waste Transfer Station at Netley in Hampshire, which became fully operational last year.

The site is designed to handle over 67,000 tonnes of waste each year. This includes waste that is collected from households in the Southampton and Eastleigh area. Additional infrastructure within the contract includes the development and management of the three energy recovery facilities, two material recovery facilities, three composting facilities and six transfer stations.

Gavin Graveson, managing director of Onyx Hampshire said, "Facilities such as Netley provide a vital function to the overall management of waste in the county and represent just one facet of a comprehensive network of facilities required by the contract."

The remaining five transfer stations in the county are in Rushmoor, Lymington, Andover, Otterbourne and Marchwood. These sites are deposit points for local authority controlled waste, which is then transferred to materials recovery facilities, composting centres, energy recovery facilities or, as a last resort, landfill.


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