Last Friday (27 April) Viridor, Oxfordshire County Council and construction consortium CNIM-Clugston Oxfordshire celebrated a milestone in the construction programme for the state of the art Energy from Waste (EfW) facility in Ardley, north Oxfordshire.
Senior representatives from all organisations involved in the project visited the construction site to see first-hand the completion of excavation works of the 7,200m3 waste bunker which, once the facility is operational, will provide storage for up to 5,000 tonnes of residual waste awaiting conversion into energy.
After seeing all activities taking place on site and the progress to date, Viridor chief executive Colin Drummond said: “I would like to congratulate the project team for the great work being put into the development of this first class facility which will be an important contributor to the green economy in Oxfordshire for years to come. Our EfW facility will help the Council achieve its ambitious targets and continue to deliver cost-effective services for its residents whilst producing valuable renewable energy for homes and businesses via the National Grid.”
Speaking on behalf of Oxfordshire County Council, Huw Jones, director for environment and economy, said: “It has taken a long time and a lot of hard work to get to this milestone. It’s a testament to the effort of all those involved to finally see the facility becoming a reality and taking shape on the ground. The Council is looking forward to the facility being completed in 2014 when we will start to see the real benefits in terms of value for money for Oxfordshire residents. All but a small proportion of residual waste will be diverted from landfill which will reduce carbon emissions and bring genuine environmental benefits completing the jigsaw of infrastructure in Oxfordshire and a major step towards zero waste ambitions.”
Construction works began at the end of 2011, with the initial site fencing, preparatory earthworks, temporary surface water drainage scheme, drilling ground dewatering boreholes and excavating the waste bunker in the quarry floor.
In the next few months, the waste bunker reinforced concrete construction will be progressed; the new entrance and access road will be constructed, whilst detailed design and plant procurement will continue.
The EfW facility will have a capacity to process 300,000 tonnes of residual, non-recyclable waste with substantial environmental benefits including the landfill diversion of up to 95 percent of waste delivered to the facility and the generation of up to 24MW of renewable electricity to be supplied to the National Grid – contributing towards a more resource efficient Britain.
Viridor’s EfW and recycling facilities are already benefiting the local economy with over 30 people working on site – a figure which is expected to rise to over 200 at the peak of construction work. In the long-term, the facility will provide permanent employment to around 40 people.