The Duke of Kent has officially opened an energy-from-waste facility at Billingham, Teesside, which was developed by a Sita-led consortium.
Sita UK, alongside Lend Lease Infrastructure (EMEA) Ltd and I-Environment Investments Ltd, won a 25-year, £727m contract in 2011 from the South Tyne & Wear Waste Management Partnership, which is made up of Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland councils.
The Partnership obtained £73.5m of PFI money from Defra to help meet the cost of the contract.
Three waste transfer stations and a visitor education centre have also been built as part of the agreement.
The EfW facility will treat 190,000 tonnes of residual waste from across the three councils each year and generate 20MW of electricity, which Sita says is enough to power 30,000 homes.
Construction was completed in April this year.
Cllr Peter Mole, chair of the South Tyne and Wear Waste Management Partnership’s joint executive committee, said: “These new developments are the realisation of our very ambitious plans to significantly reduce our reliance on landfill and provide our residents with a greener waste management service.
“Thanks to these new facilities, we are proud to be able to say that we now divert over 95% of our waste away from landfill and, instead, put it to good use – either by recycling it into new products and compost or treating it to produce electricity. In fact, even the ash that comes from burning the waste is recycled into building materials.”
Sita chief executive David Palmer-Jones said: “The South Tyne and Wear Waste Management Partnership’s investment in this new infrastructure shows how local authorities can meet their commitments to divert waste material from landfill and, at the same time, deliver a sustainable source of energy.”