Tata Chemicals Europe has announced that it will operate a new energy from waste plant (EFW) at its Lostock manufacturing site in Northwich, Cheshire in a joint venture worth nearly half a billion pounds.
The chemical arm of the Indian conglomerate has reached an agreement for the plant with Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and FCC Environment Group.
The £480m investment in the 60MW waste-to-energy plant will be one of the largest ever made on the site, which has been in operation since 1907.
It is planned to divert 600,000 tonnes of residual waste from landfill and generate enough renewable electricity to reportedly power around 125,000 homes. This will offset more than 200,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year.
Transforming waste into energy
The plant aligns with the increased pressure—from environmental initiatives and the international Paris Agreement—facing the industrial industry to reduce its waste, carbon footprint and build more self-sustaining models. The Lostock sustainable energy site will recover energy from residual waste left over after reusable and recyclable material has been removed.
Sustainable models are increasing and for good reason
Manufacturers are looking to increase their sustainability as this can deliver economic benefits to firms.
For example, improving energy efficiency or being more tactile with water use, decreases money spent on those resources.
Three key examples of this can be seen with Irish cream maker First Ireland Spirits energy buffer system that drives down the business’s energy costs, innovative manufacturer Recycling Technologies creating machines that can convert ‘unrecyclable’ mixed plastics back into oil, and cheesemaker, Barber’s use of its by-products that uses the water in whey to clean down its cheesemaking areas.
The core challenge is the integration and understanding of where sustainable models can be implemented. Improving sustainability for firms is crucial, and manufacturers are engaging with this as it offers monetary incentives and environmental benefits.
FCC, alongside funding contributions, will operate the plant and source the waste used to generate electricity and steam. It has over 200 waste treatment and renewable energy sites in the UK, operating three energy from waste plants with planning permission for a further two.
The construction process will consist of two phases, and operations are scheduled to commence in the second quarter of 2023.
FCC Environment Group chief executive, Paul Taylor, commented “Today is a milestone for the waste treatment industry here in the UK which is facing a severe capacity gap for the treatment of unrecyclable residual waste.
“This development forms an important part of our strategy to continuously invest in the waste related infrastructure that is crucial for this country’s ability to process waste and power homes across the UK both today and in the future.”