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CNIM completes Avonmouth ERF handover to Viridor

One of the UK's largest recycling and energy recovery companies Viridor Ltd has announced that a major milestone has been achieved in the construction of Viridor’s GBP252 million (≈ EUR 282.56 million) Avonmouth Energy Recovery Facility (ERF), near Bristol, with contractors CNIM officially handing over the site to Viridor in December 2020. The Avonmouth ERF forms part of the wider Avonmouth Resource Recovery Centre (RRC) which includes a plastic reprocessing plant currently under construction.

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In the UK a major milestone has been achieved in the construction of Viridor’s GBP252 million (≈ EUR 282.56 million) Avonmouth Energy Recovery Facility (ERF), near Bristol, with contractors CNIM officially handing over the site to Viridor in December 2020. The Avonmouth ERF forms part of the wider Avonmouth Resource Recovery Centre (RRC) which includes a plastic reprocessing plant currently under construction and that will utilize heat from the ERF (image courtesy Viridor).

The 33 MWe plant, which is currently receiving up to 120 000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste from Somerset Waste Partnership and 120 000 tonnes from the West of England Waste Partnership as part of the commissioning process, has been designed to divert 320 000 tonnes of this residual waste away from landfill.

This facility is another important piece in the Somerset waste management puzzle. While we remain focussed on reduction, reuse and recycling; having a means to ‘repurpose’ waste that cannot be recycled, rather than sending it to landfill, is a great leap forward. The handover is a great achievement and a milestone in our ongoing work with Viridor and other partners to decarbonise the county’s residual waste, said Mickey Green, Managing Director, Somerset Waste Partnership.

The Avonmouth ERF will also generate up to 307 GWh of electricity annually which will power the facility itself and export enough energy to power the equivalent of 84 000 homes.

The addition of another energy recovery facility to the Viridor fleet diverting non-recyclable waste from landfill across the UK is, of course, cause for the celebration on its own merits. However, the Avonmouth ERF forms part of the wider Avonmouth Resource Recovery Centre, including a £65 million (≈ EUR 73 million) investment in a plastic reprocessing plant currently under construction which will draw heat and power from the ERF. The opportunity to have a Viridor facility, using non-recyclable waste to generate the heat and power, which will allow us to recycle and reprocess more plastic here in the UK is the wider goal for our Avonmouth centre, Kevin Bradshaw, CEO of Viridor.

Bradshaw said that the company was pleased to have achieved this important milestone following other significant achievements at the site, including the first export of electricity to the grid in July 2020.

Optimising resource and energy efficiency and providing the infrastructure investment needed to make a meaningful contribution to the UK’s green economy continues to be the driving force of our business strategy. We will continue to seek opportunities to replicate the use of the ERFs as the combined heat and power plants that they were designed to be, supporting recycling and circular economy initiatives, Kevin Bradshaw said.

The construction site has remained open throughout the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, implementing the required government guidelines around social distancing for construction.

The technologies implemented, and the expertise of our teams enable Viridor to meet its dual objective of energy and environmental performance, providing a state-of-the-art solution contributing to the circular economy. We are particularly proud to have delivered to Viridor a turnkey plant at the cutting edge of technology, despite the constraints put on us by the Covid epidemic, said Guillaume Turc, Managing Director, CNIM Environment & Energy.

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