EfW powers ahead with emerging trend for smarter diversion

Market momentum continues around energy-from-waste with many investors showing appetite for a mix of technologies as landfill diversion takes hold and new infrastructure comes on-stream.

In south London, Viridor has finally got the go-ahead to build an energy recovery facility next to its landfill site in Beddington.

The incinerator will provide South London Waste Partnership and businesses with a cost-effective alternative to landfill and also bring forward the completion and restoration of the existing landfill into green spaces and wildlife habitats.

Viridor’s head of development projects Robert Ryan said the ERF was “the right solution for South London’s waste challenge and is one that will deliver real economic, social and environmental benefits”.

Further north, Peel Environmental has received the green light from City of York Council to build an anaerobic digestion (AD) and horticultural glasshouse facility on a former mining site in the region.

The AD plant will recover heat and electricity from up to 60,000 tonnes of organic waste per year, generating renewable electricity to power around 3,500 homes.

A horticultural glasshouse, which will use some of the heat produced, will be developed alongside the facility and operated by Howden-based specialist Plant Raisers to propagate mainly tomato plants.

Peel Environmental director Myles Kitcher said that co-locating waste infrastructure was central to the company’s growth strategy.

“As we look to bring forward other sites for the co-location of waste infrastructure, it is encouraging to see that the value of what we are trying to achieve in terms of developing mixed-use sites with waste infrastructure development at their core has been recognised,” he said.

It is thought the £23.5m project will provide 20,000 tonnes per year of carbon savings compared to sending the waste to landfill – greater than the levels of CO2 produced by City of York Council.

Meanwhile in County Durham, a £8m AD facility is only weeks away from completion as the project reaches the end of its first phase of construction and commences commissioning.

The project, headed up by Emerald Biogas, will result in the north east’s first commercial food waste facility. At full capacity, the plant at Newton Aycliffe Industrial Estate will process 50,000 tonnes of food waste per year and generate 1.56MW of electricity.

Phase two of the biogas plant will double the capacity of the facility, allowing up to 100,000 tonnes of food waste to be processed each year and doubling the power generated.

Emerald is now exploring the potential of biogas injection technology, which will upgrade the biogas to a higher-grade product that can be injected into the local gas grid, plus a vehicle fuel station.

Maxine Perella

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