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Energos gasification plant given go-ahead

A new energy from waste (EfW) plant has been contracted by Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority to manage the short-term treatment of residual waste for the area.

The EfW facility at Knowsley Industrial Park, Merseyside, will take 96,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste a year, including refuse derived fuel (RDF). It will generate 9MW of power - equivalent to 15 large wind turbines.

The plant will use “best practice” advanced conversion technology gasification, according to Energos. This technique does not burn residual waste, but uses a thermal treatment process to covert it to gas, which is then combusted to generate heat and electricity for neighbouring businesses.

“This is an environmentally responsible, community sized energy from waste solution that will ensure the diversion of biodegradable material from landfill,” said Energos managing director Nick Dawber. “Our facilities generate renewable energy and displace the use of fossil fuels.”

“Despite the difficulties in the financial markets, we are making good progress in securing finance for this £60m project,” Dawber added.

The project is expected to finish in 2015. It will create 20 long term skilled jobs at the site and more than 50 jobs during the two-year construction period, with more jobs created through the supply and support chain.

The plant has been awarded a full Environment Agency (EA) environmental permit, and the agency has set low limits for Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) emissions. Energos said they are capable of achieving NOx emissions of less than 25% of the EU limit.

Dawber stated: “With more than 15 years and 560,000 hours of operational experience we can demonstrate a track record of outstanding emissions performance at our new build facilities across Europe. The local community can take comfort from tight controls and our proven ability to meet these limits.”

Steve Molyneux, EA’s Environment Manager, said: “We’ve carried out a thorough assessment of the application and consulted widely on the details. We’ve sought comments from other organisations, including Knowsley Council, Knowsley NHS, the Health Protection Agency and local people. The EA is confident that the proposed energy from waste facility will not harm human health or the environment.”

Energos advanced conversion technology has also been selected for the treatment of residual waste at the proposed Milton Keynes Waste Recovery Park and at Glasgow City Council’s proposed Recycling and Renewable Energy Centre.

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