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Veolia submits planning application for Alton Advanced Energy Recovery Facility

Veolia Environmental Services (UK) Ltd (Veolia ES UK), a subsidiary of global water, energy and waste management services provider Veolia Group has announced that it has submitted its planning application to the Hampshire County Council for the construction and operation of the Alton Advanced Energy Recovery Facility (AAERF) and associated infrastructure. AAERF would be built on land at Veolia’s existing Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) and Waste Transfer Station (WTS) near Alton in Hampshire.

An artist’s renderings of the proposed 30 MWe Alton Advanced Energy Recovery Facility (AAERF). Veolia Environmental Services (UK) Ltd has submitted its planning application to the Hampshire County Council for the construction and operation of the Alton Advanced Energy Recovery Facility (AAERF) and associated infrastructure (image courtesy Veolia).

The planning application is for a state of the art advanced technology which will utilise non-recyclable ‘residual’ waste to produce power for the National Grid. According to Veolia, the approximately 30 MWe Alton Advanced Energy Recovery Facility (AAERF) is sized for residual Hampshire waste that is currently landfilled in the county, or exported elsewhere.

On an annual basis, this would mean around 330 000 tonnes per annum (tpa) of non-hazardous residual waste – waste that is not sent for reuse, recycling, or composting – would be thermally processed by the facility. In addition, AAERF would also be capable of exporting heat to local heat users.

Extensive consultation

Submission of this application follows a period of extensive pre-application public consultation, which was undertaken between February and March 2020, before the current social distancing measures on account of COVID-19 were introduced. During the course of the consultation, five public exhibitions were held across Alton, Holybourne, Bentley, Froyle, and Binsted which were attended by nearly 600 local people.

Veolia has provided a full response to the questions submitted within the Statement of Community Involvement submitted alongside the planning application. Several changes have been made to the architecture taking into account local views on the appearance of the facility.

If built, AAERF would create over 300 jobs during construction, plus 40 permanent roles once operational.

This facility will allow Hampshire to lead the way in waste management, saving 65 000 tonnes of carbon emissions compared to landfill, and delivering a 30 percent increase in energy efficiency. In terms of a green recovery, this represents an important investment in new clean infrastructure that will contribute towards reaching the carbon net-zero target as well as providing new construction jobs and permanent local employment, said Richard Kirkman, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer, Veolia UK and Ireland

With the Alton and Portsmouth materials recycling facilities being considered for replacement, a new combined recycling facility is also being planned.  A new hi-tech recycling plant would provide improved recycling allowing Hampshire residents to recycle plastic pots, tubs, and trays.

In the UK, Veolia has invested in a nationwide infrastructure to support its recycling, collection, treatment, recovery, and disposal activities. It currently operates 11 energy-from-waste (EfW) facilities with an annual processing capacity of over 2.5 million tonnes supplying over 1.2 TWh of power and 142 GWh of heat.

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