The Runcorn plant will process up to 850,000 tonnes of refuse derived fuel (RDF) each year once a second phase of the site is finished.

Viridor said the plant will generate up to 70MW of electricity and up to 51 MW of heat.

The facility will produce electricity and heat which will be utilised by the neighbouring INEOS facility. The plant will also supply INEOS with up to 20% of its total energy needs.

Viridor claimed the plant will give local authorities such as the Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority and north-west businesses a “viable alternative” to sending non-recyclable waste to landfill or exporting it for treatment in Europe.

It will operate in conjunction with concerted efforts to ensure that customers are able to recycle as much as possible. Prior to use as fuel at the Runcorn EfW plant, waste will be passed through a pre-treatment process to remove materials for recycling either at a Viridor or authorised third party site.

The total project represents a £452m investment, creating around 80 permanent jobs within the facility as well as having employed up to 1100 people during peak construction.

Viridor operations director Mark Burrows-Smith said: “This marks an important milestone in the commissioning process at Runcorn and in Viridor’s wider energy recovery investment programme.

“The development also comes hot on the heels of the lifting of the road inputs restriction at Runcorn, which will enable a sensible mix of transport methods to serve the site – allowing businesses and local authorities within the region to access the landfill diversion potential of the plant.”

Liz Gyekye

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