Leading recycling and resource management company, SITA UK, is building an energy-from-waste facility on the site of the former highways depot on Lodge Lane, Great Blakenham.
The £180 million plant will provide a cheaper, greener solution to disposing of the household waste left after recycling. In total, 269,000 tonnes of waste from Suffolk households and businesses will be processed annually, in turn reducing greenhouse gases by 75,000 tonnes per year.
Approximately 250 jobs will be created during construction, whilst 43 permanent jobs will be formed once the facility opens in December 2014. The plant has been designed by architects Grimshaw, who also designed the Eden Project in Cornwall, and it is expected to achieve a BREEAM standard of ‘Excellent’.
Main contractor Lagan Construction will deliver the project alongside their process partner, CNIM.
Works began onsite in January 2012 and included site surveys, the demolition of existing buildings and the preparation of the site offices. To date, piling for the waste bunker is complete and the concrete base is now being installed. On 18th May 2012, an event was held to mark the start of the construction.
David Palmer-Jones, Chief Executive of SITA UK, commented:
“It was fantastic to be in Suffolk to mark this occasion. The construction project is progressing well and we are looking forward to seeing this landmark facility take shape.
“In two-and-a-half years’ time, all of Suffolk’s residual household waste will put to good use generating electricity instead of being send to landfill. Suffolk County Council has demonstrated excellent leadership in taking charge of its waste problem and finding a solution.
“We are delighted to be delivering a world-class facility that will benefit council tax payers and cut carbon emissions for years to come.”
The project supports both SITA UK’s aim to live in a society where there is no more waste and the council’s ambition to make Suffolk the greenest county.
A government grant of approximately £200 million will help to cover the running costs of the energy-from-waste facility, whilst income from the sale of electricity to the National Grid will offset the costs further. Over the next 25 years, the facility is expected to reduce costs by up to £350 million.
A number of local businesses have already won contracts to supply goods and services to the site, whilst the facility will also have a visitor centre that will be available for community use during the evenings. Funding for community groups based within a three-mile radius of the site is available through the SITA Trust.