‘REnescience Northwich’: world-first waste to bioenergy plant for DONG Energy

03 May 2016

After gaining planning consent with a unanimous committee decision on the 2nd of February 2016, DONG Energy is now building ‘REnescience Northwich’, a c. £60m first-of-its-kind waste to energy facility on the Lostock Works site near Northwich in Cheshire.

RPS was appointed by DONG in May 2015 to provide architectural and engineering design, planning, EIA and permitting with a c. £1.9m scope of work overall. RPS also managed the public consultation and stakeholder engagement for this potentially controversial application on a site with a history of organised local opposition to waste projects, aided by a specialist communications subconsultant.

A deadline for first operation by April 2017 to gain Renewables Obligation support meant DONG needed a fully realised design, planning permission and environmental permit with no room for delay in the design or consenting programme.

From the date of commission to construction start on site took just under nine months.

Key challenges were the ongoing design process and need to start construction immediately after consent with no leisure to discharge any pre-commencement conditions. A planning strategy with design envelope flexibility and proactive submission of environmental management details ensured that the consent could be implemented immediately.

Construction work started on February 15th, just one working day after the consent letter was issued.

Providing planning, environmental and design services fully in-house through one integrated team enabled RPS to meet DONG’s challenging objectives. RPS is continuing to support DONG through construction and commissioning of this exciting new facility.

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