Viridor and CNIM announce takeover of £252m Avonmouth ERF site

Viridor have announced their £252 million Avonmouth Energy Recovery Facility was officially handed over from contractors CNIM in December.

Avonmouth Energy Recovery Facility aerial viewThe plant, located near Bristol, has been designed to divert 320,000 tonnes of residual waste away from landfill. It currently receives up to 120,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste from both the Somerset Waste Partnership and the West of England Partnership.

Construction of the facility began in 2017 and the site has remained open throughout the pandemic. Once fully operational, the facility is expected to generate up to 307GWh of electricity annually, which would be enough to power the facility itself and to export enough energy to power the equivalent of 84,000 homes.

Viridor CEO Kevin Bradshaw said the company was pleased to have achieved this milestone following other significant achievements at the site, including the first export of electricity to the grid in July.

Mr Bradshaw said: “The addition of another energy recovery facility to the Viridor fleet diverting non-recyclable waste from landfill across the UK is, of course, cause for the celebration on its own merits.

“The Avonmouth ERF forms part of the wider Avonmouth Resource Recovery Centre, including a £65m investment in a plastic reprocessing plant currently under construction which will draw heat and power from the ERF.

“The opportunity to have a Viridor facility using non-recyclable waste to generate the heat and power, which will allow us to recycle and reprocess more plastic here in the UK, is the wider goal for our Avonmouth centre.”

Somerset Waste Partnership Managing Director Mickey Green, added: “This facility is another important piece in the Somerset waste management puzzle.

“While we remain focussed on reduction, reuse and recycling; having a means to ‘repurpose’ waste that cannot be recycled, rather than sending it to landfill, is a great leap forward.

“The handover is a great achievement and a milestone in our ongoing work with Viridor and other partners to decarbonise the county’s residual waste.”