Viridor proposes new EfW plant in Scotland

Viridor has put forward proposals for a multimillion-pound Energy-from-Waste (EfW) plant south of Larkhall in South Lanarkshire, Scotland.

The Overwood EfW plant aims to convert up to 330,000 tonnes per annum of non-recyclable municipal, commercial and industrial waste into energy in the form of heat and electricity.

Overwood EfWThe proposed development is to be situated on land adjoining the existing Dovesdale logistics and waste management complex, which already has planning permission for an EfW facility.

As part of this planning application, subject to receiving planning permission, the current permission will be revoked.

A Proposal of Application Notice (PoAN) has been submitted to South Lanarkshire Council, which has embarked on a consultation programme. Virtual exhibitions are due to be held over the coming months, allowing the public to find out more and give feedback.

Viridor claims to be responding to the Scottish Government’s forthcoming ban on the landfilling of food, paper, garden and any other biodegradable household waste by 2025.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) revealed that Scotland sent 1.46 million tonnes of household and similar waste to landfill in 2019.

Viridor is a member of the Carbon Capture and Storage Association (CCSA), which seeks to help organisations stay on track with net zero targets. Several of the UK’s EfW facilities are set to trial a new technology that is devised to catch CO2 at the EfW, stopping it from being emitted into the atmosphere.

In the past there have been concerns over the impact of EfW facilities on public health, with English incinerators avoiding reporting the emissions of harmful particulate matter (PM) and nitrous oxide (NO), and Zero Waste Scotland recently suggesting that EfW might be more damaging to the environment than landfill due to carbon intensity being twice as high as the UK national grid average and greenhouse gas emissions.

The facility will produce around 34.1 MW of electricity, of which 30.7 MWe will be transferred to the national grid. The proposed plant would be designed to have Combined Heat and Power (CHP) in place, so that heat in the form of steam or hot water could be exported to other local users.

The Overwood ERF looks to create up to 55 full-time operational jobs, as well as 500 throughout its construction.

Viridor Planning Manager (North and Scotland) Grant Scott said: “The proposed Overwood Energy Recovery Facility is a state-of-the-art development that will play a vital role in diverting our everyday waste from landfill.

“By utilising waste left over from the recycling process, the facility will convert it into electricity, helping to meet the upcoming landfill ban and supporting the Scottish Government’s “Zero Waste” strategy.

“Over the coming months, we look forward to presenting these plans to the local community.

Whilst the ongoing restrictions regarding COVID-19 will impact how this is done, we have put together a comprehensive digital engagement programme and welcome everyone to get involved, ask questions and importantly provide us with feedback.”

Following the consultation process, a planning application alongside a Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) will be submitted to South Lanarkshire Council in the spring/summer this year.