Seven North East Councils are working together to plan a 40-year Energy from Waste project worth over £2.1bn.
Plans will see five borough authorities – Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland and Stockton – and Newcastle City Council and Durham County Council join forces to build an “Energy Recovery Facility” in the region.
The site could better dispose of rubbish from 1.5 million residents, seeing 450,000 tonnes of waste being used to generate electricity every year.
A capital investment of up to £300m is needed but the total value of the contract is £2.1bn over an initial contract of 29 years, with a possible 11-year extension.
Councils have launched a Europe-wide search today (July 24) for a contractor to build and run the facility, which is expected to create over 300 jobs in the construction phase alone.
By burning the rubbish at the proposed power station, a 25-acre brown-field site in Redcar and Cleveland, it could heat nearby homes and businesses while reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill.
A spokesperson for the project said:
“While we would obviously urge everyone to recycle as much as possible, we appreciate that not all rubbish can be repurposed.
“We know that the volume of non-recyclable material we have to deal with is only likely to increase as our population and household numbers grow.
“The Government is also expected to widen the definition of municipal waste to include similar commercial and industrial leftovers.
“By joining forces the seven councils can create a new facility using the latest technology, reducing the amount of waste that is sent to landfill, which is better for the environment.
“The commercial opportunity this proposed plant also presents could mean that we can generate significant income, thereby offsetting costs for the taxpayer.”
New Energy Recovery Facilities are up to five times more efficient at reducing carbon emissions compared to other Energy from Waste facilities, with the planned plant capable of meeting the needs of more than 32,000 homes.
Image: Newcastle City Council