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London EfW to be built on public borrowing

The North London Waste Authority (NLWA) is to build an energy-from-waste (EfW) facility paid for through public borrowing.

The North London Heat and Power Project will replace the present facility at Edmonton EcoPark and generate up to 78MW of electricity.

Authority chair Clyde Loakes said: “In making this decision, members have balanced the need to find an option with a manageable level of risk with funding the project at the lowest anticipated cost.

“When the construction contract is let, the NLWA will manage it to deliver a good value EfW plant. This will be a solution which is sensitive to demands on council tax payers.”

The facility will use a design and build contract, and is expected to be in operation by the end of 2025. Approved plans also include a resource recovery facility, a reuse and recycling centre and an office block.

Public borrowing is an alternative to funding through the Government-backed Private Finance Initiative (PFI), which has been cut back.

A number of PFI EfW plants ran into difficulties. A National Audit Office report in 2014 found that three such plants experienced ”difficulties in obtaining planning permission, opposition from local groups, complex commercial considerations and uncertainties over technology”.

PFI waste contracts have also come in for much criticism for being expensive and inflexible.

The NLWA project is contrary to the view of the London Assembly, which in February called on boroughs not to send waste for incineration. It concluded that recyclable materials were unnecessarily going to incineration, including potentially hazardous materials such as plastic.

But the assembly is only a scrutiny body with no power to direct boroughs or the NLWA.

 

Readers' comments (2)

  • I cannot wait for the government to introduce a hefty incineration tax to stop councillors with little or no grasp of the threat posed by global warming approving Incinerators . It’s lunacy to burn rubbish and release millions of tonnes of greenhouse gas into the atmosphere. These overpaid jobsworth are putting a curse on the future of the planet.

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  • There may be an alternative to a replacement energy from waste plant for the NLWA in the future but, for now, it does not exist. The NLWA has a legal responsibility to provide a solid and timely solution for NE London that is reliable and bankable. Lobbyists of all types pull in every possible direction, but they don’t have the ultimate responsibility that the Chair of the NLWA does to actually provide a solution. What is NM’s solution?

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