The Environment Agency has awarded a full Environmental Permit to energy from waste business Energos to operate a small scale advanced conversion technology (ACT) facility at Knowsley Industrial Park, Merseyside.
The 96,000 tonne-a-year Knowsley Energy Recovery Facility, using the patented Energos gasification process, has also been selected by Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA) to manage short-term treatment of residual, non-recyclable waste, helping to divert it from landfill.
The project will create 9 MW of green power, equivalent to the output of 15 large wind turbines. It is designed to complement local recycling initiatives and to process only non-hazardous, residual waste, with an ability to accept a variety of waste streams, including refuse derived fuel (RDF).
Steve Molyneux, Environment Manager for the Environment Agency, 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 Environment Agency is confident that the proposed energy from waste facility will not harm human health or the environment."
The Environment Agency has set low limits for NOx emissions in recognition of Energos' capabilities of achieving NOx emissions of less than 25% of the EU limit, without any form of NOx abatement system.
Energos Managing Director 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."
The first phase of work on the Energos Knowsley Energy Recovery facility has been completed and the second phase of work is expected to start in 2013.
"The facility could be completed by 2015," added Nick Dawber. "Despite the difficulties in the financial markets, we are making good progress in securing finance for this £60m project."
The scheme will use an advanced conversion technology (ACT) gasification technique, which is a best practice clean technology. Rather than burning non-recyclable waste, it converts it into a gas via a rigorously controlled two-stage thermal treatment process - using the heat of partial combustion. The gas is then fully combusted to generate heat, which is used to produce steam and electricity.
The combined heat and power process will generate heat for use by neighbouring businesses, as well as electricity.
The project 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.
"This is an environmentally responsible, community sized energy from waste solution that will ensure the diversion of biodegradable material from landfill.", said Nick Dawber, "Our facilities generate renewable energy and displace the use of fossil fuels."
"We are committed to working with the local community to provide a world class facility that can bring long-term environmental and employment benefits locally, and provide part of a much needed green waste infrastructure that the country desperately needs.
"We set up the Knowsley Community Liaison Group back in 2008 to manage communication with residents and businesses and members have been fully involved in the project and met at key points in the development cycle."
Energos advanced conversion technology has 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.