Suez is to build a £100m energy-from-waste (EfW) plant near Billingham in Stockton-on-Tees to serve both public sector and commercial customers in the North East and Scotland.
The backdrop to this decision, according to Suez’s UK recycling boss David Palmer-Jones, are concerns about the UK’s domestic shortfall of non-landfill waste treatment options, which have been ramped up with the uncertainty around post-Brexit waste exports.
Suez was granted planning permission in 2014 to build a plant on the land, which is adjacent to existing Suez facilities at Haverton Hill (pictured).
It will be capable of handling 200,000 tonnes a year of residual waste and produce around 25MW of electricity, enough to power 30,000 households.
The plant could be up and running by 2022 and enabling works have already been done. Suez is now in the process of procuring a construction contractor to build the facility.
Palmer-Jones said: “For several years now, we have been keeping a close eye on residual waste treatment capacity at a national and regional level through our Mind the Gap analysis reports, which show that the UK has a shortfall in vital non-landfill waste treatment capacity.
“Brexit, and the questions it raises around the future of residual waste exports, only strengthens the case for additional domestic treatment capacity.
“We are therefore very pleased that the Suez group continues to see the potential of the UK market, and has chosen to invest in this facility to serve public sector and commercial customers in the north-east and Scotland.”
Suez already has a lot of activity at the Teeside site where the EfW plant is planned. These include five EfW processing lines serving Stockton, Middlesbrough, Redcar & Cleveland and Northumberland and those making up the South Tyne & Wear Waste Management Partnership.
These lines are divided between two facilities based at the same location in Haverton Hill.
As well as Teeside, Suez operates EfW facilities in Redcar, Kirklees, Isle of Man, Suffolk, Cornwall and Severnside, and has a gasification facility under construction in Surrey.
Speaking at the Environmental Audit Committee last week, resources minister Therese Coffey indicated that there was a “sufficient capacity” of UK EfW facilities.