Thousands of homes in the West Midlands are to be powered by an Energy-from-Waste plant under construction in Walsall. EfW company Encyclis aim for the plant, due to be in use by 2027, to create enough energy to power around 90,000 homes. Encyclis said:
The facility will provide much-needed social infrastructure in the West Midlands for the sustainable treatment of waste whilst supporting the region’s journey on the road to net-zero.
The 436,000-tonne plant is Encyclis fifth EfW project to close in the last five years and will be built, owned and operated by the company. Once in operation, Encyclis hope to create 49 Megawatts of low carbon baseload electricity every year, which equates to energy for around 90,000 homes.
Encyclis will work with Hitachi Zosen Inova (HZI) as the primary contractor under an engineering, procurement and construction (‘EPC’) contract. Andrew Howie, the Development Director for Encyclis, said:
The development of Walsall demonstrates our sustained progress in executing on our full potential plan. It will be the first of our facilities to be 100% owned and operated by Encyclis. To achieve that, we will be contracting directly with local and regional waste management companies to provide them and their ultimate local authority and business customers with a direct route into a long-term, sustainable waste treatment facility, diverting waste from landfill and exports.
The project has received financial support from the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), who in early 2021 commissioned a circular economy route map to transition the area to a circular economy. The WCMA have welcomed the plant as it will not only help with decarbonisation in the area but will also create around 450 jobs. Cllr Ian Courts, WMCA portfolio holder for housing and land and leader of Solihull Council, said:
We know that achieving net zero by 2041 was a bold and ambitious statement for the region to make. But projects such as this can help us get there.
It’s also great to see vacant land being regenerated to deliver a project that will help us move from our dependency on fossil fuels to a cleaner, greener future for the region.
The plant will see the regeneration of a disused industrial site in Walsall and will create 300 jobs for the duration of its build. Once in operation, it is hoped the project will create 60 local, high-skilled jobs in the region. Cllr Courts said:
I’m pleased to see our non-hazardous land-fill waste being used to generate electricity and heat for local homes in Walsall at this brand new energy-from-waste plant.
Construction on the plant will commence this year.