Binn Group revises plans for £70m EfW facility

Scottish waste management firm Binn Group has submitted revised plans to build a £70-million energy-from-waste (EfW) plant at Binn EcoPark near Glenfarg in Perth and Kinross.

Binn Group has revised its plans for a £70-million EfW facility

After being granted initial planning consent in 2006, the company is now looking to amend its proposal by increasing the incinerator capacity by 41 per cent, from 60,000 tonnes to 84,000 tonnes of waste, generating enough energy to power 14,677 homes.

The new proposals also include plans to modify the building design to reduce its carbon impact, leading to a net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 8,903 tonnes of CO2-equivalent (CO2e) compared to landfill.

Binn Group Chief Executive Allan MacGregor said: “If plans are approved, we would hope to start work later this year, creating 200 jobs during the 28-month construction and development phase, with 30 permanent jobs once the plant is operational – hopefully by early 2023.”

“The work represents a £70-million capital investment and will ultimately result in an estimated Gross Value Added (GVA) of around £12.6 million for Scotland and £2.6 million locally.

“The captured electricity will feed the national grid and as a component of the energy is renewable, will contribute to the ongoing decarbonisation of Scotland’s power supply. Waste heat from the plant will be utilised to support businesses in the EcoPark and possibly for supply to nearby businesses in the local community, ensuring that there is a high level of energy use efficiency by the plant.”

As Scotland prepares for the introduction of its ban on sending biodegradable waste to landfill – now pushed back from 2021 to 2025 – investment in residual waste treatment infrastructure will be a necessary step in the transition away from landfill.

In addition to Scotland’s plans, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has recommended a UK-wide ban on biodegradable waste to landfill by 2025 if the UK is to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. This would further reduce landfill capacity across the UK and increase the urgency for improved Scottish infrastructure.

MacGregor explained: “Too much of this resource stream is currently shipped abroad when we could process it here through a more carbon-friendly solution such as EfW.

“Binn Group strongly believes that smaller multi-technical resource management platforms should be developed at local level to manage waste streams as close to their generation point as possible.

“Our proposed plant will offer an option for both local businesses and industry – and neighbouring local authorities – to meet their legal obligations. By offering a low carbon solution to combat a national problem at local level, Binn Group will play a key role in supporting the transition away from landfill and help drive the government’s Zero Waste Strategy.”

Brian Ritchie, Chairman of Resource Management Association Scotland (RMAS), added: “This facility will provide a solution for the non-recyclable residual waste generated on site and from neighbouring local authorities and private waste contractors, as well as contributing to the infrastructure Scotland needs to take full responsibility for its own residual waste.”

Binn Group is planning to host a series of public information meetings and online community engagement platforms to keep the public informed on their proposals.