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Oxfordshire ERF completes construction

24th December 2014

Viridor is delighted to confirm that its Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) in Ardley, near Bicester, has been granted its ‘Acceptance Certificate’ marking the end of the EPC contract and completion of the construction phase of the facility. The facility is now fully operational under the management of Viridor.

Construction of the £200 million energy recovery facility began in November 2011 and, to date, the man-hours on the project totals over 2.3 million – equivalent to over 262 years. At its peak, the construction employed over 550 people from a wide variety of trades, working together in partnership to install the modern technology and engineering required to transform waste into energy and resources.

Viridor’s dedicated focus on the health and safety of all its employees, partners and contractors has seen the incredible achievement of only two lost time accidents during the entire project, making it one of the safest projects worldwide.

Paul Rowland, Regional Manager for Viridor, said: “I’m delighted to be part of the team in Viridor which has helped us reach this stage. On a project that is more than twice the size of two Premier football pitches, it requires a phenomenal effort on everyone’s behalf to make sure that we operate safely and efficiently. Thanks to everyone’s hard work and determination, our time spent without lost time accidents has enabled us to put £18,000 back into the local community through donations to charitable projects and schools. All of this has only been possible with everyone working together in partnership, and it’s a proud moment for us all as we start full operations of a world-class facility for Oxfordshire”

Councillor David Nimmo Smith, Cabinet Member for Strategic Growth and Environment at Oxfordshire County Council said: “I am delighted that the facility is complete and treating our waste. Oxfordshire is the best county council in the country at recycling and composting and this new facility will generate electricity from the waste that is not recycled. Diverting waste away from landfill will significantly reduce the amount of methane gas released to our environment. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas over 20 times more damaging than CO2. Oxfordshire County Council places a great deal of importance in using waste in an environmentally viable way.”

In June 2014 the plant began to receive the first waste deliveries and first burn was achieved soon after. One month later, exporting of electricity to the National Grid began, truly realising its purpose of transform waste into power.

The facility will now transform 300,000 tonnes of residual waste each year (what’s left after recycling and composting) into electricity – enough to power 38,000 homes – and diverting around 95% of its inputs away from landfill disposal which will deliver significant environmental, social and economic benefits for local taxpayers

Construction facts for Ardley ERF:

  • The total project area covers eleven hectares, comprising of buildings, hardstandings, lagoons and landscaped grounds.
  • 260km of electric cabling within the building plus a further 9km of cabling to connect the ERF to the National Grid
  • Over 2.5km of telephone fibre connections
  • Over 16,500m3 of concrete and 11,700m2 blacktop used
  • Over 1,800 tonnes of steelwork
  • Over 1.6km of drainage materials
  • Over 14,700m2 of cladding for the roof

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