Wheelabrator Kemsley, a new waste-to-energy facility at Kemsley in Kent, enters full commercial operation following a successful commissioning phase throughout early 2020.
Wheelabrator Kemsley is now operational as a combined heat and power facility and will generate up to 49.9 MW (gross) / 44 MW (net) of sustainable, baseload electricity to power U.K. homes and businesses.
The facility will process up to 550,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste from across Kent and the South East. The facility is pending planning approval for additional waste capacity and electrical output.
It’s intended the facility will play a ‘major role’ in reducing waste sent to landfill or for European export, saving carbon emissions when compared with sending the waste to landfill and making better use of non-recyclable material in the UK through the energy recovery process.
It’s intended the facility will play a ‘major role’ in reducing waste sent to landfill or for European export…
It will also provide steam heat – up to 70 tonnes per hour – to DS Smith’s adjacent Kemsley Paper Mill, helping to diversify its energy requirements.
Wheelabrator Technologies will process 2.2 million tonnes of non-recyclable household and commercial waste each year, in turn generating 1.1 net MWh of baseload energy, enough to power around 500,000 UK homes and businesses.
The portfolio of four strategically located assets includes:
- Wheelabrator Parc Adfer at Deeside in North Wales, processing 200,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste to generate 19 MW (gross) / 17 MW (net) per year
- Multifuel Energy Limited Ferrybridge 1 in Yorkshire, processing 725,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste to generate 79 MW (gross) 72 MW (net) per year (under a joint venture with SSE).
- Multifuel Energy Limited Ferrybridge 2 – also in Yorkshire, processing 675,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste to generate 79 MW (gross) / 72 MW (net) per year (under a joint venture with SSE).
Years of commitment
Robert Boucher, President and CEO at Wheelabrator Technologies, said: “To be able to complete construction, hot commissioning, grid synchronisation and steam export to DS Smith during the COVID-19 pandemic is a fantastic accomplishment and a testament to the commitment of our team and our partners to work safely and make a difference.
“Takeover at Kemsley is the result of many years of commitment, hard work and strong partnerships with DS Smith, our customers and the communities we operate within.”
Colin McIntyre, CEO of DS Smith’s Paper and Recycling divisions said: “Harvesting steam from Wheelabrator Technologies facility for our paper mill at Kemsley is a key part of our energy strategy. As the largest mill for recycled paper in the U.K., processing almost 1 million tonnes of paper for recycling a year, achieving the right energy mix is vital. With the facility fully operationally, it will supply us with a third of the steam required to run our paper making operations.”
Takeover at Kemsley is the result of many years of commitment, hard work and strong partnerships with DS Smith, our customers and the communities we operate within
While Wheelabrator Kemsley is now in full commercial operation, a Development Consent Order (DCO) application was submitted to the Planning Inspectorate in 2019 to upgrade the energy output the facility and increase the waste throughput. If granted, the DCO approval would allow Wheelabrator to increase the output of the facility up to 75 MW (gross) / 66 MW (net) and process up to 657,000 tonnes. A decision on the application is expected in Q1 2021.
Wheelabrator’s DCO application also contains plans for Wheelabrator Kemsley North, which is a proposed waste-to-energy facility which would be located on land immediately adjacent to Wheelabrator Kemsley.
Wheelabrator Kemsley North would be a new single line waste-to-energy facility capable of generating up to 42 MW (gross) / 37 MW (net) of renewable baseload energy by processing up to 390,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste each year. Together, both Kemsley facilities would generate enough energy to power more than 240,000 UK homes and businesses.
The company also has a further series of advanced waste-to-energy projects in development in the U.K. including Wheelabrator Kelvin, a 400,000 tonne facility in West Bromwich; and Multifuel Skelton Grange, a 410,000 tonne facility in Yorkshire, which will be developed with SSE as part of the Multifuel Energy Limited 2 (MEL 2) joint venture.
All three facilities are expected to commence construction in 2021.