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Wheelabrator reaches financial close on £340m energy-from-waste project

Wheelabrator Technologies, a US-based energy-from-waste (EfW) specialist, has reached financial close on a new 550,000 tonnes per year EfW facility at Kemsley in Kent, UK.

“To achieve financial close is a significant milestone and I’m very proud of our team for making this possible, and excited to welcome a second facility in the UK to our fleet,” said Wheelabrator president and CEO Robert Boucher.

Wheelabrator Kemsley is a combined heat and power facility which will generate 43MW of sustainable electricity to power UK homes and businesses. Due to the facility’s location, Wheelabrator Kemsley will also provide valuable steam heat to the adjacent Kemsley Paper Mill, owned and operated by UK-based packaging giant DS Smith.

Progress to reach financial close on this £340 million (€400m) project follows the award of an environmental permit by the Environment Agency in 2011 and planning permission by Kent County Council in March 2012.

In February 2015, Wheelabrator was successfully awarded a 15-year Contract for Difference with the UK government for approximately 50% of the facility’s power output.

Fuel for the Wheelabrator Kemsley facility will come from across Kent and South East England, with 75% of the fuel supply hedged at fixed prices for terms ranging from 5 to 15 years with a number of top tier waste management companies.

In a statement, Wheelabrator said that site preparation work is underway and full construction of the facility is set to start in August. The company expects plant operations to begin in 2019. The construction phase is expected to create hundreds of additional jobs in the local area and over 40 new, full-time operational roles at the facility.

“We remain focused on continuing to develop our pipeline for growth in the UK and building long-lasting relationships, including the one we have with DS Smith,” said Wheelabrator UK managing director Paul Green. “We are committed to bringing our experience and industry expertise to Wheelabrator Kemsley to deliver the highest safety and operational performance.”