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NLWA gets go ahead for Edmonton EcoPark Energy Recovery Facility

In the UK, North London councilors have given the green light for plans to invest GBP 600 million (≈ EUR 656.7 million) in a world-class Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) at Edmonton EcoPark, Enfield, and approved plans to let bidders come forward to construct the facility. The Edmonton ERF is part of the North London Waste Authority’s (NLWA) plan for a sustainable waste hub in Edmonton, which includes major investment in state-of-the-art recycling facilities, to be delivered in the first phase.

In the UK, North London councilors have given the green light for plans to invest GBP 600 million (≈ EUR 656.7 million) in a world-class Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) at Edmonton EcoPark, Enfield, and approved plans to let bidders come forward to construct the facility. The Edmonton ERF is part of the North London Waste Authority’s (NLWA) plan for a sustainable waste hub in Edmonton, which includes major investment in state-of-the-art recycling facilities, to be delivered in the first phase (image courtesy North London Heat and Power).

Plans to invest in a world-class Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) at Edmonton EcoPark, Enfield, took a major step forward on June 25, 2020, when councilors on the North London Waste Authority (NLWA) approved plans to let bidders come forward to construct the facility.

Procurement for these facilities launched last year and a contractor is expected to be appointed later in 2020, ahead of construction starting next year. The recycling facilities include the first-ever public reuse and recycling centre at the EcoPark, as well as a Resource Recovery Facility with a capacity to manage 135 000 tonnes of recyclable material every year.

These facilities are part of NLWA’s pioneering efforts to raise awareness of waste reduction and recycling in north London and across the Capital. This wider activity includes Low Plastic Zones, Swish and Style clothe-swaps, and the London Upcycling Show.

Replace existing facility

The ERF will be a vital asset for managing north London’s non-recyclable waste sustainably in the future. The facility will divert up to 700 000 tonnes of waste from landfill every year, which is vital to tackling the Climate Emergency declared by north London boroughs.

The ERF will replace a retiring plant at the site, which is thought to be the oldest in Europe, and safeguard sustainable waste services for another generation. The ERF will ensure increasing waste levels can be managed responsibly as north London’s population increases over the coming decades.

Our investment in this world-class Energy Recovery Facility is a vital part of the service we provide to our two million residents. It’s an important part of our overall programme to build world-beating recycling and waste treatment facilities at the EcoPark. As well as the ERF the NLHPP includes vital facilities to help north London’s drive to increase recycling rates to 50 percent and will for the first time ever let residents take their household items for reuse and recycling to the EcoPark. Our responsible decision making will enable our residents to reduce their waste and recycle more in the future, while reducing the hugely environmentally damaging impact of landfill. It’s a once-in-a-generation opportunity to improve the services we provide to our residents and tackle the Climate Emergency. It will provide highly skilled, well paid jobs and apprenticeships in a cutting-edge sector right here in north London, said Councillor Clyde Loakes, Chair of the North London Waste Authority.

The process for securing a contractor will launch soon, with world-leading construction experts expected to take part in the competitive bid to build this high-tech, nationally significant infrastructure project.

The decision to press ahead with the project follows careful consideration of all relevant environmental factors and the alternatives options. The ERF will far outperform the alternatives, which include mechanical biological treatment (MBT), as well as pyrolysis and gasification, which have not been proven on the scale required in north London and do not present environmentally or financially responsible solutions for the future.

A contractor for the new ERF is expected to be appointed in 2022. The ERF is planned to start operation in 2026 and the old plant will be decommissioned. Other facilities, such as the flagship Resource Recovery Facility, have now been developed to the highest, most advanced, and modern operating standards in the UK.

The investments in additional facilities are part of the overall strategy to increase recycling rates in north London to 50 percent and have been accounted for in the detailed, robust cost estimate prepared last year as the project entered the construction phase.

Combined heat and power

According to a statement, “good progress” is being made to prepare the EcoPark site for construction. Following a temporary pause due to COVID-19, work on-site has resumed safely, with a range of measures to protect the workforce.

This means that vital works to prepare for the new recycling facilities can progress rapidly, ahead of construction next year.

The ERF will use non-recyclable waste to generate enough heat and power to serve the needs of 127 000 homes – equivalent to all the households in the borough in Enfield. It will provide the opportunity to create one of London’s largest low-carbon heat networks, with the potential to heat up to 10 000 homes in the neighbouring Meridian Water development.

The ERF will also enable thousands of tonnes of metals to be extracted from waste every year for recycling, helping to preserve the planet’s natural resources, and it will use the highest performing technologies to control emissions.

It will be the first facility in the UK to benefit from world-class equipment for controlling nitrogen oxides (NOx) and use proven filters for capturing particulates, including ultrafine particles.

As a result, it will be one of the safest and cleanest facilities in the world, operating well within the limits set by the Environment Agency.

Jobs and apprenticeships

The project will unlock major opportunities for apprenticeships and skills training in Edmonton, with at least 90 apprenticeship opportunities available in high-skilled roles that cover technology, construction, and engineering.

The project will be registered with the National Agreement for the Engineering Construction Industry, which will establish a partnership with trade unions to promote positive working practices and cultures. All the jobs provided through the ERF contract will be at or above the London Living Wage.

The project is part of the ongoing regeneration of Enfield and will create extensive supply chain opportunities for local businesses.

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