Leicestershire County Council has granted permission for Biffa’s application for the “improved” Newhurst Energy Recovery (ERF) facility, which will see significant design and energy efficiency improvements being made.
In June 2012 Biffa secured planning consent for a 300,000 tonnes per year ERF on the site of the former Newhurst Quarry at Shepshed in Leicestershire and, in July this year, it submitted a planning variation application for efficiency improvements to the five-year old design. This will see the facility able to process up to 350,000 tonnes per year of waste each year, to generate 33MW of power, up from the original plans of 21MW. The £250m investment project is expected to create hundreds of construction jobs, around 40 new full time jobs and supply chain opportunities for local business over the plant’s 25-year + lifetime.
The proposed changes include.
- Replacement of the original two process lines with a single process line, which will enable the increase in processing capacity and energy generation – up 57% for a corresponding increase of only 17% in fuel feedstock
- Having a single process line means that only one flue stack would be needed
- The change in the internal arrangements means that flue stack would be moved slightly such that its base is within the building envelope
- The use of a single process line releases space inside the building such that the office and ancillary accommodation would be housed within the main building rather than being in a spur on the side of the building.
- The canopy roof over the IBA storage and maturation area is no longer required and processed IBA would weather better without it. Instead of a roof, the IBA maturation area will still be screened with “green” walling. External maturation and storage is standard practice at other operational ERF plants.
Mike Thair, Biffa’s Development Director said: “We‘re delighted with the decision that Leicestershire County Council has made today and we now look forward to moving into the next stage of the development with our partners Multifuel Energy Limited”.
Wheelabrator Technologies’ Project Manager, Chris Ratcliffe speaking on behalf of Multifuel Energy Ltd, added: “The new design will bring significant efficiency improvements to the facility. We will now work with the improved design and continue to develop the project into the construction phase.”