What is the latest update on the project?

Planning permission for the project was granted In September 2016, with construction starting in late 2017.

Why do we need this facility?

There is a clear, demonstrable need for this facility to help manage Corby and Northamptonshire’s waste. The facility will reduce the amount of waste currently going to landfill and reduce the need to export waste from the county. The waste will be used to generate around 15MW of base load, clean energy – 15MW is enough to meet the energy needs of almost half of Corby’s homes.

How much waste will be processed?

Circa 150,000 tonnes of refuse derived fuel and mixed solid waste.

What is Refuse Derived Fuel?

RDF consists largely of combustible components of municipal solid waste (MSW), comprising household, commercial and skip waste after the recyclable material has been removed.

How much energy will be generated by the facility?

The facility will generate around 15MW of renewable energy. Crucially this will be base load, clean energy that will reduce the need for fossil fuels and is more reliable than intermittent generation such as wind or solar. 15MW is enough to meet the energy needs of 12-13,000 homes – almost half of the homes in Corby.

Where will your fuel come from?

Ample waste is available locally to feed the proposed facility. It is commercially most sensible for us to utilise locally-arising waste and we will work hard to secure feedstock from local sources.

Why have you changed technology?

We have simply decided to use a more efficient and effective technology. Instead of using the gas in an engine the proposed new technology uses the gas to heat water to drive a steam turbine which then generates electricity.

Is that the only change from the currently consented scheme?

The proposed facility will likely manage less waste than the consented scheme and involves fewer vehicle movements into the facility. The building does have to be bigger to accommodate the additional steam turbine element of the technology. The food waste processing facility has also been removed (AD).

Does your technology partner have any other gasification facilities operational in the UK?

Biomass Power has three similar facilities already operating in the UK, one in Italy, and a further two currently being constructed in the UK.

What emissions come out of it?

Detailed air quality modelling has been undertaken to predict the impacts associated with stack emissions from the process.

Modern energy recovery facilities such as the one planned are strictly monitored by the Environment Agency and comply with all applicable legislation including control of emissions. Public Health England (what was the Health Protection Agency) believes that modern, well operated facilities are not a risk to human health.

Maximum off site process concentrations are predicted to be negligible at all receptor locations. Emissions associated with operational traffic flows associated with the proposed development have also been identified as negligible.

How can it be safe to have this facility operating so close to a school?

A facility such as this is designed to minimise emissions as far as possible. The facility operates in an environment that is strictly controlled and monitored by the Environment Agency to ensure there are no adverse impacts, and we'll only be able to operate if the EA is satisfied of this.

What will you give back to the community?

The project will generate 150-200 construction jobs and 15-20 long-term, permanent jobs and potentially up to 10 more if we do any fuel preparation on site. The facility will include a visitor and education area. We are also looking at the option of setting up a Trust dedicated to supporting local community projects and to see whether we can provide any other benefits to the community.

How many of these plants has Clean Power developed?

Clean Power has secured consent for several facilities across the UK.

Will we get cheaper electricity?

Unfortunately, because residential properties are quite a long way from the site it is not possible to link directly to the facility. All electricity produced by the facility will be fed directly into the National Grid.

How many local businesses have said they will use the heat and power?

It is too early to confirm specific customers for the heat and power, but there are a number of major consumers in the vicinity that we believe will be very interested.

How much waste still goes to landfill from this process?

None. What is left over after the gasification process will be used as secondary aggregate for road building and for concrete block manufacturing.

How tall will the stack be?

The stack will be 45 metres tall. To put this into context, the stacks on the nearby Corby power station are 70 metres tall.

Why does it have to be so tall?

It needs to be that height to comply with regulations on emissions control and air dispersion.

Will it ruin the view from Kirby Hall?

No. We have specifically carried out a visual assesssment to demonstrate that neither the facility nor the stack will be visible from Kirby Hall.

How many lorries will be coming in and out?

There will be a maximum of 54 HGV lorries coming to the site per day, the equivalent of 108 lorry movements a day. This is a reduction from 126 vehicle movements a day in the consented application. We will also make use of a Traffic Management Plan to ensure that HGVs do not travel through surrounding villages to access the site but stick to an agreed route using the main arterial roads. Any drivers found to be in contravention of this will be barred from delivering to the site.

What is your timetable going forward from here?

We submitted a planning application at the end of June 2016. The application went through a period of formal consultation before going before the Planning Committee at Northamtonshire County Council in the Autumn. In September 2016 the project was granted planning permission.

Construction is expected to commence in late 2017, and we believe the facility could be operating by 2020.

Will the facility smell?

Residual impacts from odour are considered to be negligible at all receptor locations. Odour impacts associated with the proposed development will be minimised by the design of the facility, abatement plant and the implementation of an odour management plan.

What is the site currently used for?

The application site currently forms part of a car storage and distribution operation. The application site is well suited for the proposed development as it comprises brownfield land within the Willowbrook Industrial Estate on Shelton Road, in a traditionally industrial part of the town.

Will the facility process any dangerous or toxic substances?

No. The proposed facility will only process refuse derived fuel. It will not accept any hazardous waste, dangerous substances, tyres, asbestos, gas cylinders, radioactive waste, oil, solvents or car batteries.

I’ve heard that gasification technology is unsafe / unproven in the UK?

There are already a number of these facilities operating in the UK which are monitored by the Environment Agency. Many more facilities have been operating successfully in mainland Europe and worldwide for many years. There are no recognised safety concerns regarding the operation of such facilities.

How does gasification technology work?

Gasification is a process that converts waste into a synthesis gas (syngas) by treating fuel material at high temperatures without combustion, with a controlled amount of oxygen. The syngas is then used to heat water to produce superheated steam which drives a turbine to generate electricity.

Does gasification technology constitute ‘renewable’ energy?

Yes, gasification technology is defined by Ofgem and DEFRA as ‘renewable’ by virtue of the fact that it will combust a ‘renewable fuel’ to generate electricity. The gasification technology will require a permit from the Environment Agency in order to operate, which will impose strict controls on all aspects of the process.

What will be the visual impact of the facility?

The visual impact of the facility will be minimised by features within the surrounding area which screen the site from public viewpoints. There are no designated landscapes, Conservation Areas, Listed Buildings or Scheduled Monuments either nearby or within the zone of visual influence. While the stack will be a noticeable addition to the skyline, it will only be seen from a few limited view points and in the context of the existing industrial/commercial nature of the townscape.

Does the facility undermine efforts to increase recycling rates?

Our facility does not undermine efforts to increase recycling. We recognise that minimising waste and increasing recycling are very important, but unfortunately neither of these approaches will fully solve our waste problems. Our facility provides the opportunity to treat waste left over after recyclable materials have been removed, and uses the left over non-recyclable material to produce clean, renewable energy. This approach helps to divert waste from landfill.

What about the risk of fires?

Our fuel is delivered in a just in time basis although we do have a fuel store that holds enough fuel to maintain supply to the gasifiers for 3-4 days so that we can continue to generate electricity if there is a short reduction in deliveries, e.g. over a long bank holiday weekend.

The material in the fuel store is constantly rotated so that it does not sit there for long periods of time. Coupled with this there are heat sensors throughout the process which can detect if there is heat build up and appropriate action can be taken. There are also two large water storage tanks on site that feed into the sprinkler system in the facility which can be activated if needed.