A decision whether or not to grant planning permission for an experimental plasma arc gasification facility in Nottinghamshire has been delayed, due to the recent withdrawal of Air Products from the energy-from-waste (EfW) market.
The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) stated it was “not yet in a position to decide” on the possible £70m facility at the former Bilsthorpe Colliery.
The facility, proposed by Waste2Tricity and Peel Environmental, would also include a materials recovery facility and energy generation infrastructure
The project was given the go ahead by Nottingham County Council in 2014, but Eric Pickles, then Secretary of State for the DCLG, stepped in to delay the project.
American company Air products announced on 4 April that it intends to exit the EfW market and sell both Tees Valley 1 and 2 gasification plants – similar technology to the Waste2Tricity plant – blaming technical problems and rising costs.
The move means the US firm company would be writing-off of about £770m.
DCLG responded by inviting comments on the new facility in order to come to a fully informed decision on the project.
A letter sent from DCLG to parties to the inquiry stated: “In view of this announcement by Air Products, and the fact that it was not disputed at the inquiry that the Bilsthorpe Energy Centre would use the same technology, the Secretary of State considers it appropriate to give the parties to the Bilsthorpe case an opportunity to comment on any implications which the reasons leading to this announcement might have for the Bilsthorpe scheme as currently proposed.”
The deadline for the enquiry is 26 April. A decision on planning is expected in May at the earliest.