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Viridor launches Peterborough energy recovery plant

UK-based recycling and renewable energy firm Viridor has completed its state-of-the-art energy recovery facility (ERF) in Peterborough.

The plant, which is operated by Viridor, is now operational on the city's Fengate industrial estate.

Making a significant step towards its zero waste ambitions, Peterborough City Council is now able to divert up to 95% of its non-recyclable waste from landfill, instead using it as fuel to generate electricity.

The ERF is positioned in a city that is committed to establishing itself as the UK's Environment Capital, and offers the city another important step towards a decentralised energy network.

The facility has the capacity to process up to 85,000 tonnes a year of residual (black bag) waste, with a generating capacity of 7.25MW– enough to power over 11,000 households.

In addition, the facility will reduce the amount of carbon dioxide equivalent the city produces by 10,000 tonnes per year, making a significant contribution to a more sustainable Peterborough.

Peterborough City Council led the way in developing an innovative funding model for the project and will receive income from the sale of electricity to the National Grid. The diversion of waste from landfill will also help the local authority to save money for its residents on avoided landfill tax.

The £72m ERF has been built by Babcock & Wilcox Volund using best in class technology and will serve the city for the next 30 years.

Marking an important milestone in the ERF's commissioning process, it passed its first 30 day testing in late December and will now undergo further reliability testing to make sure operations are within the guaranteed plant specifications.

'World-class facility'
Alan Cumming, capital projects director for Viridor, said: "Peterborough ERF is a great new asset for our partners Peterborough City Council. It is fantastic to see another world-class facility delivered safely and on schedule, this is the sixth ERF Viridor has delivered in the last 18 months.

"The project has delivered a significant economic boost for the area with over 250 workers employed during the construction phase, and will provide 28 full time jobs and ongoing supply chain opportunities now the facility is operational."

Councillor John Holdich, leader of Peterborough City Council, commented: "The Energy from Waste facility gives Peterborough a much needed alternative to landfill.

"Rather than sending waste to landfill, it will be turned into electricity saving the city £1m every year for the next three decades. Working closely with Viridor and our partners at every stage has seen the site successfully delivered on time and on budget, while offering the best in terms of technology, operation and community engagement."