Veolia has commissioned a ‘deep study’ of the UK’s capacity because existing data gives widely conflicting estimates, according to executive vice-president UK and Northern Europe Estelle Brachlianoff.
Academics at Imperial College London are expected to produce a report on the matter by the end of 2013, Brachlianoff told MRW.
The study was prompted by the ongoing debate on whether the UK will have enough infrastructure to process waste arisings in the future.
A recent report produced by consultancy Ricardo-AEA for the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management suggested that the UK would be facing a potential capacity gap of 15.3 million tonnes by 2020.
Earlier this year, Eunomia, another leading consultancy in the waste sector, concluded that in 2020 there would be potentially some 12 million tonnes capacity in excess as a result of new facilities coming online.
Brachlianoff said she was “fed up” with the debate so she had commissioned an academic research for a “deeper study on data”.
“We don’t think there is going to be overcapacity in the next years, otherwise we wouldn’t be building any capacity ourselves,” she said.
“We are fully at risk; it is our money, we are putting it where we think there is still some need.”
Brachlianoff noted that Veolia had invested £1.2bn in the UK’s waste management infrastructure since 1990, and would invest a further £1bn in recycling and recovery over the next six years.
However, she pointed out Veolia would not be investing in new merchant anaerobic digestion (AD) infrastructures as it believed there were already “too many [AD] projects on the table”.