Viridor and Grundon announce new Energy Recovery Facility in West Sussex
The new facility, which has planning permission for a capacity of up to 200,000 tonnes a year, will be built at Grundon’s Ford Circular Technology Park, adjacent to Viridor’s existing Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) and Grundon’s existing waste transfer operations.
Grundon and Viridor say the plans follow the success of their previous joint venture at Lakeside Energy from Waste (EfW) facility, near Slough, which processes 440,000 tonnes of residual waste from local authorities and businesses per year.
The new Ford facility would be Viridor’s twelfth across the UK, joining the £252-million ERF currently under construction in Avonmouth, which is expected to be completed by mid-2020 with an annual processing capacity of 320,000 tonnes, to add to the company’s current £1.5-billion ERF portfolio of ten facilities.
The West Sussex facility is but the latest in a busy year of investments and movement for Viridor, recently announcing a £15.4-million investment in an Ipswich recycling facility as part of its renewed contract with Suffolk County Council, while in June, Viridor announced plans to build the UK’s largest multi-polymer plastic recycling plant in Avonmouth, Bristol.
The company also recently stated that from next year it will be processing all of its plastic waste domestically, rather than sending it overseas. This decision follows results from its Recycling Index 2019, which highlighted that 85 per cent of people surveyed believe that the UK should recycle and reprocess plastic waste at home.
Commenting on the plan outlines for the new site in West Sussex, Viridor’s Managing Director, Phil Piddington, said: “We are delighted to be moving forward with our ERF growth strategy, transforming non-recyclable waste into low-carbon energy. The market fundamentals for ERFs remain robust, with the gap between combustible residual waste arisings and ERF capacity forecast to remain around seven million tonnes per annum to 2035.”
“In addition to today’s announcement, we are continuing to develop options around a further two ERFs, as signalled in our Capital Markets Day earlier this year. Viridor remains at the forefront of the UK recycling and energy sector and we are proud that our activity and investment continues to support the growth of a circular economy.”
Grundon’s Deputy Chairman, Neil Grundon, added: “ERFs make a vital contribution to both the sustainability and security of energy generation in the UK. As one of the UK’s leading providers of waste management and environmental services, Grundon is committed to helping reduce society’s dependence on unsustainable fossil fuels and providing environmentally-friendly alternatives to disposing of waste at landfill. We look forward to bringing our high standards of professional operation and focus on innovation to the new ERF at Ford.”