SITA UK set to officially open new £70 million extension at Tees Valley energy-from-waste site>

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Press release - 05 Oct 2009

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Leading recycling and resource management company SITA UK is to officially open its new multi-million pound extension at the Tees Valley energy-from-waste (EfW) site this week.

SITA UK set to officially open new £70 million extension at Tees Valley energy-from-waste site

Leading recycling and resource management company SITA UK is to officially open its new multi-million pound extension at the Tees Valley energy-from-waste (EfW) site this week.

The £70 million project was built by SITA UK on behalf of Northumberland County Council as part of its 28-year Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contract signed with the authority, which aims to transform recycling and waste management in the county.

The green energy facility in Haverton Hill, near Billingham, creates electricity for the National Grid by using non-recycled waste as a fuel to produce enough power to supply about 36,000 homes.

It has taken residual waste from the boroughs of Stockton, Middlesbrough, Hartlepool and Redcar and Cleveland since the facility opened ten years ago, but has been accepting waste from Northumberland since the new extension became operational in May this year – making it SITA UK’s largest EfW site in the country.

North West Durham MP Hilary Armstrong, who is also chairwoman of SITA UK’s Advisory Board, will officially open the extension at a special ceremony on Thursday (October 8), along with SITA UK Chief Executive David Palmer-Jones and leader of Northumberland County Council, Councillor Jeff Reid.

Councillors, waste management experts and other invited guests will attend the opening and will see the plant in operation during a series of tours.

The extension, which can deal with 136,000 tonnes of waste a year, was completed on time and within budget, using a number of locally-sourced materials, including aggregates for construction, steel, electrical supplies, fixings and paint – giving a welcome boost to the north east economy.

During construction, between 60 and 100 jobs were created when building was at its peak, and SITA UK has employed an additional 20 people to operate it on a day-to-day basis.

The ultimate aim of the EfW extension is to help reduce Northumberland’s long-term reliance on landfill, so that just eight per cent of the county’s residual waste goes to landfill by 2012.

The extension enables the whole facility to handle 390,000 tonnes of waste a year, creating 30MW of electricity.

John Grainger, SITA UK North East Regional Manager, said: “The extension has firmly placed the Tees Valley on the map as a national centre for green energy.

“It was designed to the very highest environmentally-friendly standards – far higher than the toughest European requirements – and is an efficient and green way of dealing with waste that simply cannot be re-used or recycled.

“I am very pleased that this new equipment was delivered within the timescale and budget agreed, and that it has so far surpassed all of our expectations.

“SITA UK is working towards the vision of living in a society where there is no more waste, and we believe the extended Tees Valley facility, along with the use of new technologies and increased recycling, can play an important role in that.”

Coun Reid paid tribute to everyone who had worked on the project.

He said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with SITA UK in our bid to reduce Northumberland’s long-term reliance on landfill.

“Our decision to invest in energy-from-waste was led by environmental considerations, as well as the financial uncertainties of relying on landfilling. Having the ability to access the EfW facility is providing a huge benefit to the environment and is saving residents in Northumberland millions of pounds in landfill tax each year.

“By 2012, our target is to recycle and compost over 45 per cent of household waste in the county, to recover energy from non-recycled waste and reduce the amount being sent to landfill to only 8 per cent, making Northumberland one of the greenest counties in the UK, and we believe we are on track to achieve that.”

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