Work has started on one of the UK’s first large scale advanced gasification plants. Based in Dagenham, the £80 million plant will transform household rubbish into clean energy to power up to 15,000 local homes. The project is expected to create 25 permanent skilled jobs as well as up to 100 construction jobs during the building works. Once it is operational in 2013 it will turn almost 100,000 tonnes of waste into around 19 megawatts of energy each year.
The London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB) has agreed a £8.9million loan to Biossence East London, some of which has been used to secure the site and complete preparation work. This is part of the London Waste and Recycling Board’s commitment to supporting the development of new waste infrastructure in London.
The site has been bought from Ford Motor Company which will benefit from the energy generated by the facility, the majority of which will be exported to the National Grid. The use of renewable energy plays an important role in the running of Ford’s Dagenham plant, which has two existing wind turbines with a planned third on the way.
The gasification plant works by taking residual household rubbish and breaking it down through thermal and chemical processes to create a synthetic gas fuel which is then used to generate electricity. The new plant will take household waste from the four local boroughs which form the East London Waste Authority – Barking and Dagenham, Havering, Newham and Redbridge.
The Shanks ‘Frog Island’ facility, which will provide the rubbish, is less than half a mile away from where the gasification plant is being built, so transportation is minimal, helping to cut down on carbon emissions.
LWARB has committed more than £30.5 million to various projects across London, to improve waste management in the capital.