Peel pushes on with Protos energy-from-waste plant
Peel and operator Covanta are set to press forward with an energy-from-waste facility at Protos energy park, the 126-acre site formerly known as Ince Park.
Peel first received consent for a 95-megawatt Refuse Derived Fuel plant in 2009; the consent has since been implemented through the construction of an acoustic fence, but the plant itself has not been built out. Peel’s intention is now to develop a smaller energy-from-waste plant instead of the larger RDF plant having received planning consent for the EfW site on Plot 8 of Protos in 2017.
The EfW facility will provide up to 49 megawatts of energy with a throughput of around 350,000 tonnes of waste per year, and will be operated by Covanta. No hazardous waste is set to be used at the plant.
The plant’s capacity was originally set at 35 megawatts but has been upped through planning amendments. The original planning approval for the plant also had a condition in place requiring a rail link to be built to the site; however, Peel has now applied to have this condition removed.
The developer said that at the time of its original planning application in 2016, it was anticipated that Covanta could secure waste contracts that would make use of the rail infrastructure.
However, according to planning documents, these contracts are “now not available” and there are “no other meaningful opportunities to secure rail-based contracts”.
As a result, Peel has applied to remove the condition to allow the energy-from-waste plant to come forward without a rail link, although this rail link is likely to be installed at a later date as part of the works to the wider Protos energy park.
Peel’s application to remove the rail link is due to be discussed at Chester West & Chester’s planning committee next week with a recommendation to approve; primary access to the site will be via a new road link, joined to Grinsome Road via a roundabout.
The first occupier at Protos, expected to be worth a total of £700m, is now operational. The Bioenergy Infrastructure Group’s 22-megawatt biomass facility commenced operations in April this year, using waste wood to generate low-carbon energy with the capacity to power around 40,000 homes for 20 years.
Overall, the Protos site is expected to generate around 3,000 jobs once fully operational.