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Scotgen's Dumfries energy from waste plant permit revoked

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has revoked the operating permit of Scotgen’s energy from waste facility in Dumfries.

According to SEPA, the reasons behind the revocation notice for the Dargavel Stores site’s permit are:

  • Persistent non-compliance with the requirements of the permit
  • Failure to comply with an enforcement notice
  • Failure to maintain financial provision and resources to comply with the requirements of the permit
  • Failure to recover energy with a high level of efficiency

Ian Conroy, SEPA’s technical support manager in the south west, said that the agency had granted the facility significant time to meet EU environmental requirements but the plant had consistently underperformed.

“The facility started operations more than four years ago, and in that time has never achieved a level of compliance which would give SEPA any degree of confidence that future operation would be any different,” he said.

“The facility has consistently failed to meet any reasonable expectation of environmental performance and the predicted level of energy recovery at approximately 3% is particularly disappointing and unsatisfactory,” he added.

SEPA required Scotgen to stop the plant in May 2012 after finding out that it had had breached dioxin emission limits. The plant restarted operations in July 2012.

This summer a large fire broke out in the facility. As a result, the processing building and equipment were damaged and an estimated 800 tonnes of odorous waste were left on the site, according to SEPA.

SEPA then issued an enforcement notice in July requiring the waste to be removed, but Scotgen failed to do so, the agency said.

The permit revocation notice will be effective from 23 September. If Scotgen appeals to the Scottish government the plant will be allowed to carry out operations until the outcome of the appeal is determined.

Scotgen told the BBC the company was considering its options with its advisers.

Update: MRW reported that according to the Herald Scotland Scotgen had filed a notice of intent to go into administration with the Court of Session. But a spokesperson at the Court of Session could not confirm this to MRW.

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