A large multinational chemical company has secured approval from the Government to build a multi-million pound energy-from-waste (EfW) combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Cheshire.
Ineos ChlorVinyls is one of the largest chlorine producers in Europe and the fifth largest PVC manufacturer in the world.
The plant will be built at its current Runcorn site in Cheshire and has the capacity to potentially take waste from Manchester, Merseyside, Halton, Cheshire, and Warrington.
The decision by Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks allows Ineos ChlorVinyls to construct the plant, which will be able to produce up to 100 megawatts of electricity and 140 tonnes per hour of steam. This will provide Ineos ChlorVinyls with 20% of its total energy needs and the plant will be able to process up to 850,000 tonnes of solid recovered fuel each year.
Ineos ChlorVinyls is one of the largest energy users in the UK. The companys Runcorn site uses the same amount of electricity as the City of Liverpool, so the firm says that it is important to the long term future of its business to be able to look at alternative ways of producing energy that reduces its dependence on fossil fuels.
An Ineos ChlorVinyls spokeswoman said that the plant would provide energy security to its site operations and allow us to reduce the impact of rising energy costs on our business, thereby helping to underpin the many thousands of jobs that are dependent on our site.
The firm feels comfortable with using waste as a feedstock. A spokeswoman said that EfW technology had strong environmental credentials and was a tried and tested technology.
Ineos ChlorVinyls is part of the Ineos Bio family. MRW reported in July 2008 that Ineos Bio would be developing technology to produce bioethanol in large quantities to be used in cars.
Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks said: Its important that we move forward in tackling the waste problem. The proposed plant will make use of local waste for the production of energy rather than contributing to the UKs landfill.
While acknowledging that this proposal was controversial locally, this approval takes into account the concerns that were raised. The key concern of impact on public health will be properly addressed through planning conditions at the construction stage and when the station is operational, through the environmental permitting regime regulated by the Environment Agency.
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Image: Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks