Wheelabrator Kemsley has started operations as a combined heat and power facility, and is designed to generate up to 49.9MW of electricity
Wheelabrator Kemsley, a new waste-to-energy facility at Kemsley in Kent, England, has entered into full commercial operation, after going through commissioning phase throughout early 2020.
Operational as a combined heat and power facility, Wheelabrator Kemsley has been designed to generate up to 49.9MW of sustainable, baseload electricity to power UK homes and businesses.
In addition, the facility is capable of processing up to 606,000 tons of non-recyclable waste, and is yet to receive planning approval for additional waste capacity and electrical output.
Wheelabrator Technologies president and CEO Robert Boucher said: “To be able to complete construction, hot commissioning, grid synchronization and steam export to DS Smith during the Covid-19 pandemic is a fantastic accomplishment and a testament to the commitment of our team and our partners to work safely and Make a Difference.
“Takeover at Kemsley is the result of many years of commitment, hard work and strong partnerships with DS Smith, our customers and the communities we operate within.”
Wheelabrator will process 2.2 million tonnes of non-recyclable waste per annum
The facility is expected to play crucial role in reducing waste that goes to landfill or for European export, and save carbon emissions and utilise non-recyclable material through energy recovery process.
In addition, the new facility will also provide up to 77.4 tons per hour of steam heat to adjacent Kemsley Paper Mill, owned by DS Smith, to help diversify its energy requirements.
Wheelabrator Technologies will process 2.2 million tonnes of non-recyclable household and commercial waste annually, and generate 1.1MWh of net baseload energy, which is adequate to power approximately 500,000 homes and businesses in UK.
Constructed by EPC contractor CNIM, the facility has created more than 800 jobs, including 46 full-time operational roles, and its construction resulted in significant inward investment across the region.
DS Smith’s Paper and Recycling divisions CEO Colin McIntyre said: “Harvesting steam from Wheelabrator Technologies facility for our paper mill at Kemsley is a key part of our energy strategy. As the largest mill for recycled paper in the U.K., processing almost 1.1 million tons of paper for recycling a year, achieving the right energy mix is vital. With the facility fully operationally, it will supply us with a third of the steam required to run our paper making operations.
“We are delighted with our strategic energy partnership with Wheelabrator, a partnership which enables a carbon reduction of 86,000 tons (78,000 tonnes) per year and contributes to one of our nine ambitious long-term sustainability targets – to reduce our CO2e emissions by 30 per cent per tonne of production by 2030.”