Cornwall Energy Recovery Centre is on Site and on Track

14.11.14

Upon completion the Cornwall Energy Recovery Centre (CERC) will play an important role in disposing of the county’s non-recycled residual waste by burning it under controlled conditions to provide an important source of affordable energy in the form of electricity and heat.

After a protracted and challenging planning process the Court of Appeal approved the £117m waste-to-energy plant in St Dennis in March 2012. It is being developed under a 30-year waste PFI contract between SITA UK and Cornwall Council, signed in 2006.

RPS is currently providing lead designer, architectural, civil and structural engineering, building services engineering and fire engineering design consultancy services from the Newark, Newcastle, Abingdon and Belfast offices. We are delivering the plant with Vinci Construction on an EPC Contract.

The team commenced the pre-engineering design in March 2013, with enabling works commencing May/June. Construction formally commenced September 2013.

The Energy Recovery Centre primarily consists of two buildings:

Building 1 - will house the Energy from Waste process, comprising a tipping hall bunker housing cranes as well as additional associated process related equipment, a boiler, flue gas treatment equipment plus an integral storey offices/technical rooms and visitors centre.

Building 2 is adjacent to the process building and will treat and store ash created from the process, ready for onward transfer for its re-use as substitute aggregate in road construction.

The steeply sloping site is accessed via a newly completed access road and to optimise the undulating site the resultant plant’s design has cascading sloping roofs mirroring its location.

The scale of this development is truly astounding with a base slab of 1m deep, located 12m beneath the Tipping Hall’s floor. The building will be 145m long, 58m wide and up to a staggering 45m high at the apex of the roof, all topped off with twin 119m tall chimneys. When fully operational, in 2016, the plant will:

  • employ c.70 staff
  • be operational 24 hours a day
  • receive deliveries from c.90 lorries daily
  • convert the waste into 20MW of electricity to heat and power 21,000 homes
  • assist in reducing dependency on the use of fossil fuels for electricity generation
  • handle Cornwall's 240,000 tonnes of domestic residual municipal waste a year, that will be invaluable in assisting the Council to:
    • avoid the need to identify alternative landfill sites in the county
    • minimise the potential tax burden that would be passed on to local residents
    • avoid high landfill charges; and
    • improve the County’s recycling rates.