Recycling firm Viridor has started construction of a £177m energy recovery facility (ERF) in East Lothian, Scotland, to generate electricity from post-recycling residual waste.


Scheduled to be commissioned in 2017, the facility is designed to recycle around 300,000t of the residual waste a year into 30MW of base-load renewable electricity, enough to power about 30,000 homes. It will also generate 10MW heat.

The power plant is being developed as part of a £500m Scottish investment program in next generation recycling and renewable energy infrastructure.

Viridor CEO and Pennon Group director Ian McAulay said: "Viridor is at the forefront of helping Scotland achieve its internationally ambitious target to be a zero waste nation.

"Part of a £357m Scottish recycling and energy investment programme committed within the last 18 months, this project will be transforming waste that would otherwise have been consigned to landfill, into vital renewable energy for 39,000 Scottish homes."

The project is expected to create 350 jobs during construction and 55 upon completion.

Babcock & Wilcox Vølund (BWV) and Interserve will construct the ERF, under a three-year deal signed in December 2014.

Scottish Rural Affairs, Food and Environment Cabinet Secretary Richard Lochhead MSP said: "We have seen a significant, sustained decrease in the amount of waste being sent to landfill – falling from 7.4 million tons in 2007 to 4.5 million tons in 2012.

"While Scotland is focused on moving towards a more circular economy, where goods are kept in high value use for as long as possible, there will still be a role for energy recovery for the limited amount of waste that cannot be prevented, reused or recycled."

Image: Company executives at the ground breaking ceremony. Photo: courtesy of Viridor.