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Consortium achieves financial close on Protos Energy Recovery Facility

In the UK, joint venture partners Covanta Holding Corporation (Covanta), Green Investment Group Ltd (GIG), and Biffa plc (Biffa) have announced that the consortium achieved financial close and the commencement of construction on December 1, 2020, of the Protos Energy Recovery Facility (Protos ERF) in Cheshire, England.

An artist’s rendering of the 49 MWe Proton Energy Recovery Facility in Cheshire, UK that consortium partners Covanta, GIG, and Biffa have achieved financial close on and have moved into the construction phase with Mytilineos and Standardkessel Baumgarte (SBG) selected as construction and technology partners (image courtesy SBG).

According to a statement, Covanta and GIG will each own 37.5 percent of the state-of-the-art Energy-from-Waste (EfW) facility, with Biffa, the primary waste supplier for the facility, owning the remaining 25 percent of the project.

Covanta will supply technical oversight during construction and operate the facility for an initial 20-year term, with Biffa providing the majority of the waste supply through a long-term agreement and using the facility as a vital outlet for non-recyclable waste.

Today’s announcement marks our fourth Energy-from-Waste project in the UK with GIG and our second with Biffa, all within the last two years, and demonstrates our sustained progress in executing on our strategic plans to grow in this important market, said Covanta President and CEO Michael W. Ranger.

The facility will use proven technology to provide up to 400 000 tonnes of annual treatment capacity for non-recyclable waste household, commercial and industrial waste, further enabling the UK to achieve national self-sufficiency in managing waste and compliance with landfill diversion targets.

We are pleased to have reached this important milestone together with our partners and to be taking another step towards improving the UK’s waste infrastructure and creating a low-carbon and resource-efficient economy. This project demonstrates our commitment to helping the UK to build the recycling and energy-from-waste infrastructure it needs to reduce its reliance on unnecessary export or landfill of valuable resources, said Michael Topham, Biffa’s Chief Executive.

Construction start

Like the Newhurst project before it, the Protos project consortium combines world-leading expertise in EfW operation and development, green infrastructure investment, and waste management and collection.

Located near Ellesmere Port in Cheshire, the Protos ERF will be built within Peel L&P Environmental’s Protos energy and resource hub, a site that clusters together innovative technologies and connects energy-intensive operations with sources of low-carbon energy. The facility will be capable of generating 49 MW, enough low-carbon electricity to power around 90 000 homes.

We are delighted to have reached this agreement on our fourth project with Covanta. This is another major step forward in our mutual goal to transform two million tonnes of residual waste a year into heat and power. In addition, the project has given us another opportunity to work closely with Biffa to reduce waste going to landfills, said Edward Northam, Head of GIG in Europe.

Construction of the facility will now begin and be led by an EPC joint venture between Greece-headed engineering and construction contractor Mytilineos S.A. as lead contractor and Germany-based boiler manufacturer Standardkessel Baumgarte GmbH (SBG), a subsidiary of Japan-headed JFE Engineering Corporation (JFEE).

The project is expected to provide significant economic opportunities to the local and regional area, both during its three-year construction phase and upon its completion.

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