As part of the deal, Veolia will acquire the Boomeco plant in Avonmouth, Bristol which produces RDF from residual household waste and processes wood-waste into chips to be used in combined heat and power plants.

Veolia said in a statement that the acquisition would complement its strategy to manufacture green products and green energy and save resources.

“We are making significant progress in our drive to increase the quality of energy we are delivering from renewable sources,” said Veolia UK’s public and commercial chief operating officer Gavin Graveson.
“Post-COP21, Veolia’s ongoing expansion in biomass and RDF production will help the UK meet its 2020 carbon emissions targets, reducing reliance on fossil fuels and enhancing domestic energy security.
“The strategic acquisition of Boomeco will become our platform in the South West for wood and RDF production, strengthening our position in this growing market and supporting the sustainable circular economy.”


Veolia’s executive vice-president Estelle Brachlianoff told edie in November last year that she now views Veolia as a more of a “mining company” – extracting everything they can from waste and giving it a second life.

Brachlianoff said the company was targeting a fully-working circular economy, and is contributing to this through energy-from-waste plants, and innovative reuse schemes.

Drax subsidies

In related news this week, biomass power generator Drax has seen its shares plummet after the European Commission launched an investigation into whether it should be eligible for certain subsidies.

Drax is seeking subsidy support to help it convert one of its coal-fired units to biomass, but the Commission believes the subsidies could contravene state aid laws by giving Drax an unfair advantage over competitors.

The Commission said it “fully supports member state efforts to increase the use of renewable energy and pursue EU energy and climate objectives”.

“At the same time, EU state aid rules make sure that the cost of such support for consumers is limited and does not give certain operators an unfair advantage over competitors,” the Commission adds.

Around 3-4% of UK electricity comes from Drax biomass units. The company has converted two of its six coal units to biomass, and wants subsidy support to help it complete the conversion of the third.

Brad Allen

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