Major energy from waste plant in Cheshire

15.10.08

Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks has approved an application for an Energy-from-Waste (combined heat and power) plant in Runcorn, Cheshire to be built and operated by chemical giant INEOS Chlor.

The company is a global leader in chlorine derivatives and is a vital part of the European chemical industry. Many industry sectors – including water treatment, paints, pharmaceuticals, engineering and construction, electronics and agriculture – rely on the chemical raw materials the company provides.

The plant – for which RPS produced the Environmental Impact Assessment – will form the backbone of the Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority's £4.4 billion waste PFI contract with Viridor and Laing. Burning up to 850,000 tonnes of refuse-derived fuel a year, it will produce up to 100MW of electricity and 360MW of heat – providing up to 20% of INEOS Chlor’s annual on-site power needs. It is anticipated that the plant will take solid recovered fuel from across the NW of England, including Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority and will also have the potential capacity to take material from Merseyside, Halton, Cheshire and Warrington.

Under Section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989, consent to build and operate a power station with a capacity greater than 50MW must be granted by the Secretary of State. Accordingly, INEOS Chlor – assisted and advised on environmental issues by RPS – applied for permission in January 2007. The site is next to the Mersey Estuary Special Protection Area.

This is the second recent successful project that RPS have worked on with INEOS Chlor – the other being a major underground gas storage facility at Holford, Cheshire, which provides gas storage in specially mined caverns in the Cheshire salt dome.