Viridor has completed a public private partnership (PPP) contract to treat residual waste from five local authorities at its Trident Park energy-from-waste (EfW) plant.
The deal with sealed with Cardiff City Council, acting on behalf of the Prosiect Gwyrdd local authority partnership, consisting of Cardiff, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire, Newport and the Vale of Glamorgan.
Prosiect Gwyrdd will produce an average of 172,000 tonnes of waste per year.
The Trident Park incinerator is currently being built in Cardiff and is due for completion in 2014. The £223m plant will be able to deal with 350,000 tonnes of waste a year, and will also take in commercial and industrial waste. Viridor was granted planning permission for the project in 2010.
Operating at full capacity the facility will generate 28 MW of electricity. Viridor is also working with Cardiff City Council on plans for a district heating network, which could increase the power generation through electricity and heat to 43 MW.
Viridor Chief Executive Ian McAulay said: “The project represents another key milestone in the development of Viridor’s PPP/EfW strategy.”
The Trident Park project was subject to a legal challenge by Friends of the Earth earlier this year.
FoE Wales claims the funding decision was based on a position adopted by the Welsh Government and Prosciect Gwyrdd unlawfully favouring EfW plants.
FoE has also said Wales’ Environment Bill, which has proposed bans on some materials from being used by EfW plants, could make the development redundant.
It said: “If the five councils sign the contract and the Bill goes through, their council tax payers would still have to pay Viridor the fixed fee.
“The result would be that council tax payers would be paying Viridor two to three times more for each amount per tonne of waste burnt than was originally agreed.”