Two Waste-to-Energy Plants Planned in Wales

Prosiect Gwyrdd, a joint initiative between five south Wales councils that will look at energy from municipal waste is to receive extra government funding of up to £7.8 million [US $16 million] in a full year of operation, depending on the final costs of the project.

The investment paves the way for the next generation recycling plant in South East Wales that will generate energy from waste from the five boroughs, Cardiff, Newport, Monmouth, Vale of Glamorgan and Caerphilly.

‘We must recycle or compost as much waste as possible and maximize the benefits of the renewable energy that can be produced from source separated food waste and treatment of residual waste. We will be working with local authority consortia across Wales to develop similar facilities in other areas to deal with residual waste and these important projects will also attract a similar level of support,” said Welsh Environment, Sustainability & Housing Minister Jane Davidson.

Davidson noted that European targets for waste mean a new approach is needed, saying, “By 2010, no more than 75% of the amount of biodegradable municipal waste produced in 1995 can be land filled. By 2013 only 50% can be land filled.”

In related news, Covanta Energy is seeking to build a new energy from waste plant near Merthyr Tydfil in Wales. The new facility – known as Brig y Cwm – will be located on low lying land near to Miller Argent (South Wales) Ltd Cwmbargoed disposal point. It will be alongside the existing railway line that will link it to a number of rail operated waste transfer stations to be created across Wales, enabling the waste to be transported by rail. This will greatly reduce the need for road haulage of waste.

Covanta Energy is also investigating the possibility that people and businesses in neighboring communities could have the opportunity to buy electricity at significantly below market rates, and that lower cost energy and waste heat can be made available to attract other new investors to the area.

The plant will take approximately 750,000 tonnes of waste a year and generate about 70 megawatts. Most of the waste will be collected at a number of locations in Wales and delivered to the Brig y Cwm site by rail in sealed containers.

The plant will be financed, built, owned and operated by Covanta Energy and will present no financial risk to local authorities. The company is preparing a planning application which it intends to submit in late 2009 and, subject to planning approval, it is intended that the plant be operational by 2013-2014.

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