The contract signed with Keppel Seghers Belgium NV and Keppel Seghers UK requires Viridor to develop phase II of the project, representing £160m of investment for a 375,000 tonnes per annum capacity plant.

This in addition to the £34m of shared works required for both phase I, which is being developed primarily for the Greater Manchester Waste PFI contract and phase II that will be available for the market generally, as rising landfill tax drives residual waste disposal away from landfill towards EfW.

The EPC contact with Keppel Seghers complements Viridor’s strategy to construct and operate EfW plants to handle residual waste diverted from landfill in line with European Landfill Directives, and to maximize the associated renewable energy generation.

Viridor CEO Colin Drummond said that the combined Runcorn plant will be one of the largest and most efficient in Europe with a total capacity of 750kt of waste p.a., 70MW of electricity and 51MW of heat.

“Phase II will come on stream by 2014/2015 by which time large scale energy from waste facilities will be cost competitive against landfill with landfill tax by then being £80 per tonne,” Drummond said.