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Veolia gets permit for proposed Heysham EfW

By 22/05/2020News

Veolia has been awarded a permit by the Environment Agency for a 350,400 tonnes per year capacity energy from waste (EfW) plant in Heysham, Lancashire.

If built, the plant will generate 34MWe each year, which the company says would be enough to power 60,000 homes.

An artist’s impression of Veolia’s proposed Heysham EfW

In a document explaining its decision to grant the permit, published yesterday (May 21), the Environment Agency said: “We have decided to grant the permit to the applicant. This will allow it to operate the installation, subject to the conditions in the permit.

“The permit will ensure that a high level of protection is provided for the environment and human health”

Environment Agency

“We consider that, in reaching that decision, we have taken into account all relevant considerations and legal requirements and that the permit will ensure that a high level of protection is provided for the environment and human health.”


Lancashire county council’s development control committee unanimously approved the proposed site for the plant in October 2019.

The permit says the facility could have the capability to provide around 5MWth of heat should a viable combined heat and power scheme be established, but Veolia has concluded it is not yet viable to develop such a scheme.

Veolia’s planned opening date for the facility has been stated as “early 2023”.

Residual waste

Prior to the coronavirus lockdown, Lancashire county council had begun exploring options for the disposal of 300,000 tonnes of the county’s residual waste.

Lancashire hosted an ‘early engagement’ day for its residual waste contract in February

It hosted an “early engagement’ day for a county-backed contract in February, where it discussed with waste management companies what they were offering and the best terms to maximise bidders (see story).

It is thought nearly 30 waste management companies expressed interest in the project, with several identifying sites for EfW plants and others suggesting they could take waste to plants outside Lancashire. The interested companies include Veolia, Suez, Miller Turner, Biffa and N+P Group.

Though the coronavirus pandemic has delayed matters, Lancashire county council’s service development manager William Maxwell told it was hoped the tender process would begin in July or August.

It is anticipated the contract award will be announced in spring or early summer 2021.


At present the Conservative-controlled county disposes of its waste down various routes, including a MRF at Farington which handles about 30,000 tonnes of material, a plant at Leyland which process about 60,000 tonnes of waste which is then sent to Viridor for incineration at Runcorn. An MBT process at Thornton produces volumes of compost like output.

The county, which has a recycling rate of 44.6%, has not ruled out the continued use of the facilities but recognises that a larger treatment provision will be needed for the 300,000 tonnes.

In August 2019 Suez had plans for an EfW plant near Blackburn approved by Blackburn-with-Darwen borough council, subject to the waste management company securing a contract to continue managing Lancashire’s residual waste (see story).

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Source: Waste Managment