A planning application for waste management infrastructure worth £240m has been submitted in Northern Ireland.
arc21, the umbrella waste body for 11 eastern councils, is planning a mechanical biological treatment (MBT) facility alongside an energy-from-waste (EfW) plant in Hightown Quarry on the Boghill Road, near Mallusk.
The application follows community consultation between March and November 2013 and consideration by all 11 constituent councils. It comes in the month that procurement for a £560m residual waste scheme from a Shanks-led consortium, including an MBT plant, was scrapped.
Under the new scheme, the Becon Consortium will deliver the infrastructure. The move follows an assessment by Oxford Economics that the project will create or sustain approximately 340 permanent direct and indirect jobs when operational.
It will also create up to 455 direct construction jobs and support additional jobs in the construction supply chain. The project will also include a visitor centre.
Ricky Burnett, arc 21’s policy and operations director, said: “While we will continue to pursue challenging recycling targets, there will always be residual waste remaining, which we must stop sending to landfill.
“There is an economic and environmental imperative to do so, to meet European landfill diversion targets, possible landfill bans and to avoid potentially heavy fines.”
Ian Smith, project director for the Becon Consortium said: “If our application is successful, this project will help Northern Ireland catch up with the rest of Europe and ensure we maximise the value from our waste, while addressing the European imperative to divert our waste from landfill.
“Importantly it will also contribute significantly to separate renewable and sustainable energy targets.”
Burnett also referred to the recent Mills report into illegal waste disposal.
“In his [author Chris Mills] report he made it very clear that the availability of new strategic infrastructure could be extremely important in helping to ensure that waste could be monitored more closely and be more tightly regulated. We believe this project is precisely what is envisaged and recommended by Mr Mills. ”
- The Becon Consortium is part of the EEW Energy from Waste group (EEW) that develops, builds and operates EfW plants. EEW currently owns or operates 19 EfW facilities, including plants in Germany, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. Energy giant E.On has a 49% share.