GIB will invest £20m in the facility, which will convert more than 420,000 tonnes of residual waste into energy each year, and will generate enough electricity to meet the needs of more than 60,000 homes each year.

It will also save more than 1.8 million tonnes of CO2 over its lifetime, equivalent to the annual emissions of 780,000 cars.

The waste will be collected from the metropolitan boroughs of the MWDA (Liverpool, Knowsley, St Helens and Sefton) and the Unitary Authority of Halton Borough Council, serving a population of approximately 1.5 million.

It will then be taken to a rail-linked waste transfer station at Knowsley and transferred to the new plant at Wilton, Teesside.

The project includes building all the necessary energy from waste infrastructure, including two rail interchanges, and is part of a 30-year Public Private Partnership (PPP) contract between the Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority (MWDA) and a consortium of SITA UK, Sembcorp Utilities UK and the ITOCHU Corporation.

UK GIB Edward Northam, head of investment banking, said: “During the lifetime of our investment, we expect the Mersey facility to generate enough electricity to power thousands of homes, from many millions of tonnes of household waste that would otherwise go to landfill.”

Subject to local demand, the plant will also be able to provide heat to nearby businesses, with the capacity to deliver 190 tonnes of steam per hour via a district heating system.

The project is expected to create 75 permanent jobs, in addition to more than 100 jobs during the construction phase.

Business Secretary Vince Cable, said: “This new plant will mean less of our household waste going to landfill and less reliance on fossil fuels for energy generation.

“It is precisely the sort of project which we created the Green Investment Bank to support, as part of this country’s transition to a green economy,” he added.

Leigh Stringer

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