Energy giant Ineos Chlor today won permission to build a combined heat and power station fuelled by waste from Manchester, Merseyside, Halton, Cheshire and Warrington that would otherwise have gone to landfill.
The decision was announced by energy minister Malcolm Wicks to allow the plant to go ahead with a capacity of 100 megawatts in Runcorn. He also gave planning permission for the development rather than having to go through the local authority.
Heat and electricity produced from the power station will be used at the Ineos Runcorn site, a major chemicals manufacturing complex and one of the largest energy users in the UK.
Wicks said: "It's important that we move forward in tackling the UK's waste problem. The proposed plant will make use of local waste for the production of energy rather than contributing to the UK's landfill.
"While acknowledging that this proposal was controversial locally, this approval takes into account the concerns that were raised. The key concern of impact on public health will be properly addressed through planning conditions at the construction stage and when the station is operational, through the environmental permitting regime regulated by the Environment Agency."