Incinerator trio powers up at UK’s largest EfW plant

Three incineration lines are now up and running under one roof at the UK's biggest energy-from-waste plant, which went live earlier this month in southeast London.

The Riverside Resource Recovery plant situated on the banks of the River Thames in Belvedere, Bexley, is Cory Environmental’s “most significant waste project to date” according to the facility’s director Andy Pike.

The facility is double the size of most incinerators in the UK with a combined capacity of 585,000 tonnes of waste per annum and is capable of generating up to 72MW of electricity. The project was a mammoth undertaking and took 17 years to complete, blighted by fierce local opposition and public enquiries.

The unique location of the plant means it can take waste by barge – materials are sent to the facility from four riverside waste transfer stations under a 30-year integrated waste management contract with Western Riverside Waste Authority (WRWA). Cory estimates that these river operations are saving 100,000 road lorry movements each year.

The WRWA deal will account for 50% of material throughput to the plant – the other 50% is currently being supplied through three other municipal contracts with City of London, Westminster and Bexley London boroughs and a mix of commercial customers.

The facility itself hosts three incinerator lines, which allows for greater efficiency in terms of operational efficiency. Throughput on each line is about 30 tonnes per hour, with a boiler efficiency of 27%.

Bottom ash generated from the site will amount to around 180,000 tonnes each year (28% of material throughput) – this is collected and sent via river barges up to a reprocessing facility in Tilbury where it is converted into material for construction and road building aggregate.

The fly ash residue produced from the process (4% of throughout) currently goes to a hazardous waste landfill, but Cory says it is looking into recovery solutions for the fraction going forward.

The company says the facility also has the scope to accommodate combined heat and power (CHP) if needed, should future opportunity present itself.

Maxine Perella

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