Councils reveal EfW opportunities

UK: Local authorities are not planning to develop energy from waste plants, possibly leading to growth in the market for merchant facilities

Britaniacrest Recycling planned plant needs to win a planning appeal
Britaniacrest Recycling planned plant needs to win a planning appeal

Several English county councils have told ENDS they have no plans to develop energy-from-waste plants and will instead rely on sending waste to either merchant-owned facilities or those run by other municipalities.

The information was revealed in responses to a freedom of information (FOI) request by ENDS. Among the councils were West Sussex County Council, which confirmed that it did not plan to build its own plant, but also that it had a contract in place to send waste to another facility it did not own.

Currently, the West Sussex Britaniacrest Seneca Partnership, in a deal signed in April last year, exports refuse-derived fuel from the area to Germany and the Netherlands for energy recovery.

However, waste management firm Britaniacrest Recycling, part of the partnership, is currently appealing against West Sussex County Council’s decision to reject its plans for 180,000t/yr EfW plant.

Essex County Council similarly replied it had no plans to build plants and said it sends waste to be processed into RDF for energy recovery elsewhere. This could be good news for Essex-based Gent Fairhead & Co (GFC), which is currently ironing out planning issues with its contract for difference-backed EfW facility.  

The county councils of Durham, Rutland and Nottinghamshire all also responded to the FOI request saying they would not be developing their own plants and would continue to send waste to facilities elsewhere. Again this reveals the possibility for new merchant facilities to be developed nearer to waste sources.

In response to the same FOI, Hertfordshire County Council confirmed its had deals in place with three plants to take most of the 540,000t/yr of waste it produces. The municipality had one planned EfW plant it was developing with Veolia turned down by the government, while it is due to hear by 7 May whether a second development, also with Veolia, can go ahead.

Another authority hit by government intervention in its EfW plans is Norfolk County Council, which confirmed to ENDS that it had no plans to try to develop a facility again. Instead it has a deal with Suffolk County County that allows waste to be treated at its Great Blakenham plant.

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