Work on one of the UK’s largest 'steam from waste’ plants began today, with the Mayor of London Boris Johnson officially kicking off the proceedings.
The £80 million plant in East London
will use rubbish to generate enough clean energy to power up to 15,000 homes. Almost 100,000 tonnes of London’s annual waste
will be broken down and converted into electricity
through a 'steam’ process at the plant, which will be located at the famous Ford Dagenham
The plant will generate 18 to 20 megawatts (MW) of electrical power and
approximately 10 MW of thermal power. The majority of the power will be
sold to Ford and the balance will be exported to the National Grid. A
small amount of the power will be consumed by the facility itself.
Rubbish will be sourced from the nearby Frog Island and Jenkins Lane
Mechanical Biological Treatment plants operated by Shanks East London,
thereby preventing waste from ending up in landfills.
The new plant will create 100 construction jobs and an additional 25 permanent jobs when the plant begins operation, it was announced today.
"This will be a fantastic facility taking our everyday rubbish and miraculously transforming it into a valuable resource — electricity," said Johnson today. "Local people can rest easy knowing that instead of any rubbish they are unable to recycle
being dumped in a landfill site and emitting harmful greenhouse gas emissions, it will be used to power their homes with green energy."
How the technology works
The energy facility is being developed by renewable
energy and biomass company Bioessence East London Ltd and will use 'Advanced Thermal Conversion’ gasification technology to process the waste. It will be broken down into a mixture of synthetic gas fuel and inert residue. Once cleaned, the synthetic gas will be burnt to generate electricity.
The project is being backed by the London Waste and Recycling board (LWARB), which has provided a £8.9 million loan, although this is short of the original £12 million that was pledged by the LWARB for the scheme back in 2009.
Ford Motor Company, which sold the site for the new plant, said it would help the company in its continuing efforts to produce cars while emitting less CO2.
"Not only does Dagenham produce the lowest carbon engines in the Ford world, it has often been Ford's test bed for sustainability initiatives, be it resource recovery and recycling, energy efficiency, use of renewable materials and renewable energy generation," said Joe Greenwell, Ford of Britain chairman.
The gasification plant is scheduled to open in 2013.
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Waste & recycling