North’s largest energy-from-waste facility ready to power ahead

A £107m energy-from-waste plant (€151m) planned for Belfast has moved a step closer with news that the finance for it has been put in place.

The operating company is Full Circle Generation Ltd, made up of a consortium of equity investors including RiverRidge Energy Limited, UK Green Investment Bank plc (GIB), Equitix and P3P Partners.

It will service aeroplane company Bombardier’s facility in the harbour estate in the east of the city, and is expected to be operational by late 2017.

What will be the north’s largest energy-from-waste facility, providing 14.85 megawatts of energy from household waste, will also provide 250 construction jobs and 20 full-time jobs once completed.

Planning documents suggest it could cut Bombardier’s energy bill by a quarter.

The energy from waste plant has the capacity to take 180,000 tonnes of fuel a year derived from black bin waste, and it currently has planning permission to deal with 120,000 tonnes.

The scheme will incorporate the use of gasification technology – a process that converts any material containing carbon into synthesis gas (syngas) which can then be burned to produce electricity or further processed to manufacture chemicals or fertilisers.

Managing director of RiverRidge Energy and RiverRidge Recycling Ltd, Brett Ross, described the announcement as “a significant day” for the Northern Irish waste management sector.

“It is also a significant day for the Northern Irish economy as a whole”, Mr Ross said.

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