Veolia gets permit for Hertfordshire EfW plant

Veolia has been granted an environmental permit for its energy from waste plant at Hoddesdon in Hertfordshire, as it awaits a final decision on planning approval for the facility.

The permit decision for the 350,000 tonnes per annum facility is the latest development in a long-running effort by the company to develop an energy from waste plant in the county, with Veolia’s planning application for the facility called in by the Secretary of State last year.

The environmental permit allows the incineration of non-hazardous waste in the plant with capacity of 3 tonnes per hour or more. The facility will receive municipal solid waste and mixed commercial and industrial waste, utilising a two-line process and moving grate furnace technology. The planned installation will generate electricity at a rate of 33.5MWe with 30.2MWe supplied to the grid.

The site could also house a clinical waste and healthcare waste transfer station which is controlled by a Standard Rules Permit that is incorporated into the permit. This activity is restricted to a throughput of less than 75,000 tonnes of waste per year.

It is noted that emissions of odour, and noise and vibration “shall not be at levels likely to cause pollution outside the site”.

The environmental permit allows the incineration of non-hazardous waste in the plant with capacity of 3 tonnes per hour or more. The facility will receive municipal solid waste and mixed commercial and industrial waste, utilising a two-line process and moving grate furnace technology. The planned installation will generate electricity at a rate of 33.5MWe with 30.2MWe supplied to the grid.

The site could also house a clinical waste and healthcare waste transfer station which is controlled by a Standard Rules Permit that is incorporated into the permit. This activity is restricted to a throughput of less than 75,000 tonnes of waste per year.

With co-location the clinical waste transfer station on the site of a new and presumably highly efficient incinerator it’s seems logical and entirely appropriate to consider the co-incineration bulk of clinical wastes with the obvious benefits of energy capture and low-cost.

It would be relatively easy to devise foolproof mechanisms to separate out specific subfractions of clinical waste, such as bulk pharmaceutical waste and sharps, and to process effectively all of the remaining fractions of clinical, healthcare, and sanitary wastes.

No doubt the Environment Agency would be apoplectic at such a proposal. Costs would fall, as efficiency increases. It would be a straightforward operation to manage such that these additional wastes were stored and managed separately, and fast tracked to incineration with co-mingling of household and similar wastes as necessary to main and optimise incinerator performance. The calorific value of clinical and healthcare wastes is high, so incinerator efficiency will be maintained.

This option simply must be better that the present arrangements that include, thanks to misguided Environment Agency manipulations of the disposal industries, their preferred hole-in-the-ground approach to disposal of sanitary and offensive wastes by landfill. That cannot be right.

 

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