Biffa, Covanta and GIG announce financial close on Protos EfW facility

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Biffa has reached financial close on the Protos energy from waste (EfW) facility in Cheshire, alongside partners Covanta and Macquarie’s Green Investment Group (GIG). 

Covanta and GIG will each own 37.5% of the facility with Biffa owning the remaining 25%. 

Located near Ellesmere Port, the facility plans to provide 400,000 tonnes of annual treatment capacity for non-recyclable household and Industrial & Commercial (I&C) waste.  It promises to generate 49 megawatts of low carbon electricity, enough to power around 90,000 homes, and will be the second EfW facility for Biffa following the commencement of construction at the Newhurst facility in Leicestershire. 

Biffa will provide fuel for the facility with over 60% of feedstock sourced from its own operations, whilst Covanta will supply operations and maintenance services.

Construction will be led by a joint venture between Mytilineos S.A and Standardkessell Baumgarte GmbH, with the project expected to provide ‘significant economic opportunities’ to the local area during its three-year construction phase and upon completion, Biffa confirmed.

Above: an artist's impression of the Protos facility

“We are pleased to have reached this important milestone together with our partners and to be taking another step towards improving the UK’s waste infrastructure and creating a low-carbon and resource-efficient economy,” commented Michael Topham, Biffa’s chief executive. “This project demonstrates our commitment to helping the UK to build the recycling and energy from waste infrastructure it needs to reduce its reliance on unnecessary export or landfill of valuable resources.”

Total construction costs for the facility are estimated at £345-355m, with Biffa’s financial commitment amounting to £35m, to be invested over the coming three years from existing facilities. 

Covanta president and CEO Michael W. Ranger said that the project - its fourth EfW project with GIG and its second with Biffa - demonstrates ‘sustained progress’ in executing strategic plans to grow in the important market. 

Edward Northam, head of GIG in Europe, added: “We are delighted to have reached this agreement on our fourth project with Covanta. This is another major step forward in our mutual goal to transform two million tonnes of residual waste a year into heat and power. In addition, the project has given us another opportunity to work closely with Biffa to reduce waste going to landfill.”

Melissa Bradshaw

Reporter, Mark Allen Group

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