Green light for Cheshire incinerator

Government has give the go ahead to plans to build a massive energy-from-waste plant in the industrial port of Runcorn, Cheshire.

The 100MW combined heat and power (CHP) station will take waste which would otherwise have been destined for landfill from Manchester, Merseyside, Cheshire, Warrington and Halton and burn it to produce energy.

The decision was announced by Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks, who said that as well as producing energy from waste, this proposal demonstrates the Government’s continuing commitment to promote CHP.

The heat and electricity produced from the power station will be used at the INEOS Runcorn Site, a major chemicals manufacturing complex and one of the largest energy users in the UK.

All plans for power stations with a capacity of over 50MW require state approval, rather than simple local planning permission.

“It’s important that we move forward in tackling the UK’s waste problem,” said Mr Wicks.

“The proposed plant will make use of local waste for the production of energy rather than contributing to the UK’s landfill.

“While acknowledging that this proposal was controversial locally, this approval takes into account the concerns that were raised.

“The key concern of impact on public health will be properly addressed through planning conditions at the construction stage and when the station is operational, through the environmental permitting regime regulated by the Environment Agency.”

According to the EU’s official waste hierarchy, energy-from-waste plants count as a disposal option – ranking slightly above landfill but below recycling.

Attempts to classify high efficiency and CHP plants as recycling were resisted by MEPs.

Sam Bond

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