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Covanta and Veolia team up to develop Bedfordshire-based energy recovery facility

Waste management firms Covanta and Veolia are joining forces, under a project development agreement, to develop the energy recovery plant at Rookery South Pit near Stewartby, Bedfordshire, which will create sufficient low-carbon energy to power up to 65,000 homes.

When completed, the facility is expected to generate more than 50MWe of electricity and will create around three hundred jobs during construction, with 40-50 permanent roles including apprenticeships.

It is also designed to be combined heat and power ready to allow for the future development of local district heating.

Approved in 2013 under the Development Consent Order procedures for the delivery of nationally important infrastructure, the facility will be powered via municipal, commercial and industrial residual waste from the surrounding area.

The development will also bring a range of local community, employment, infrastructure and environmental benefits through the legal agreements included within the consent for the site.

In the coming months, the project team will work to achieve final approvals and complete project financing, according to Veolia.

 The team will also engage widely with key stakeholders and consultees, including reconvening a community liaison panel, to ensure that the development has minimal impact on the local communities and environment. It is anticipated that construction will commence by late 2017 with the facility becoming operational in 2020.

 Commenting on the project, Matthew Mulcahy, Covanta senior VP and head of corporate development said: “We are pleased to have found a partner in Veolia that will help us develop this important growth project.

 “The facility will provide a vital outlet for the sustainable disposal of residual waste and deliver clean, renewable power to the grid. It will also be designed to export steam to support a local district heating system or additional economic development projects.”

 Estelle Brachlianoff, senior executive VP Veolia UK & Ireland added: “This project will contribute to increased landfill diversion and will help the UK meet its carbon reduction commitments. The scheme will also create direct employment and boost the local supply chain as well as helping meet our future energy needs.”