It is only 15 months since the ground was broken at the site in Millerhill, Midlothian and over this time construction of the new state-of-the-art energy-from-waste plant, which will serve the City of Edinburgh and Midlothian, has reached an advanced stage.
Environment leaders from the City of Edinburgh and Midlothian Councils visited the site this week, to see the progress for themselves.
The Millerhill Recycling and Energy Recovery Centre (RERC) is being developed by FCC Environment (UK), which signed a 25-year contract to deliver and operate the £142m plant in October 2016. FCC Environment (UK) has contracted the lead Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) role to a joint venture formed by FCC Medio Ambiente SA and Hitachi Zosen Inova (HZI).
The build, which is scheduled to take 30 months, is on a brownfield site which is now barely recognisable as the former Millerhill Marshalling Yard. The main building has now reached its full height with the first part of the roof structure having been installed at the end of December. Over the last six months a vast amount of specialist equipment has been delivered and installed in the facility.
The plant is set to enter full operation in 2019 and will treat around 135,000 tonnes of household residual waste and a further 20,000 tonnes of commercial waste every year. It will generate sufficient electricity to satisfy the energy demands of up to approximately 32,000 households. Construction will continue through the rest of 2018 and the two Councils are expected to start delivering waste to the facility at the end of the year to allow the important commissioning and testing phase to get underway.
Councillor Karen Doran, Vice-Convener of Transport and Environment for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “This project has clearly come on leaps and bounds, which is extremely encouraging. By working with our neighbouring Council both areas will be able to recognise the benefits of this major energy-from-waste plant in the near future.
“We are committed to reducing the amount of rubbish sent to landfill, and the new facility will be central to our efforts, while also providing a long-term solution for the recovery of value from the residual waste.”
Midlothian Council’s Cabinet Member for Zero Waste, Councillor Russell Imrie, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to see the progress so far on this major facility. The plant is certainly becoming a new local landmark. The project is a fantastic example of partnership working that will not only help both councils meet Zero Waste targets but also produce energy for the National Grid.”
A separate facility, which takes all of the food waste collected by the partner councils, is already in operation on the neighbouring site to the RERC. It is hoped these new facilities to treat both food and non-recyclable waste, creating renewable energy in the process, will help both authorities contribute to the national recycling target of 70% by 2025 and the national landfill diversion target of 95% by 2025.
Find out more about the project online.
Pictured in the image of Councillors (l-r): Councillor Russell Imrie, Midlothian Council, Cabinet Member for Zero Waste; Councillor Karen Doran, Vice-Convener of Transport and Environment for the City of Edinburgh Council