Edinburgh set for new £142m FCC incinerator

A new £142-million incinerator that will treat the waste of Edinburgh and Midlothian councils has been backed by the Green Investment Bank (GIB), with investment of £28 million.

Edinburgh set for new £142m FCC incineratorThe energy-from-waste plant at Millerhill in Midlothian, on the outskirts of Edinburgh, is expected to treat up to 155,000 tonnes of waste from the two authorities and commercial sources every year once it has been completed.  Construction, which will ‘commence immediately’ now that funding has been secured, is expected to finish in 2019.

Zero Waste: Edinburgh and Midlothian, a joint venture between City of Edinburgh Council and Midlothian Council, is behind the plant, the Millerhill Recycling and Energy Recovery Centre, which will include a mechanical treatment facility to remove recyclable waste prior to the incineration process.

FCC Environment yesterday (6 October) signed a contract valued at £450 million with the group to design, construct and operate the facility, comprising a 31-month construction period (to May 2019) followed by a 25-year operation period.

The plant is expected to generate around 94,000 megawatt hours of electricity annually, enough, says FCC, to provide the energy needs of 27,000 households. 135,000 tonnes of the residual waste sent to the facility will come from council household collections, with a further 20,000 tonnes being provided through commercial and industrial collections.

The plant is the 18th project in Scotland to receive GIB backing, and Edward Northam, Head of Investment Banking at the GIB, said: “It’s important that materials are reused and recycled wherever possible, but it’s equally important that infrastructure is developed to increase the amounts of energy recovered from waste that can’t be reprocessed. The Millerhill plant will aid that process greatly and help ensure landfilling in Scotland continue to fall.”

Investec, Siemens Bank and Credit Agricole have also invested in the project.

Project part of cities’ zero waste plans

Councillor Lesley Hinds, Environment Convenor, City of Edinburgh Council, added: “The procurement of this project is an example of successful partnership working between the two councils, and will benefit both Edinburgh and Midlothian’s zero waste strategies over the coming years.”

FCC currently operates three energy-from-waste facilities in Kent, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire, with two more under construction (Buckinghamshire and Herefordshire & Worcestershire).

Paul Taylor, Chief Executive Officer of FCC Environment (UK), said: “The Millerhill Recycling and Energy Recovery Centre will play a significant role in improving recycling and reducing the amount of waste being sent to landfill throughout Edinburgh and Midlothian. The project is part of the commitment of both the City of Edinburgh and Midlothian Councils to achieve these goals and helps support the Scottish Government’s Zero Waste Plan.

“The project delivers a low-carbon solution focused on landfill diversion whilst the partnership will deliver real economic and community benefits from infrastructure to jobs, supply-chain opportunities and local community engagement.”

More information about the project can be found on the FCC Environment website.

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