It’s dominated the North Hykeham landscape since the summer of 2013, and produced over 58,000MW so far, though Lincoln’s Energy from Waste (EfW) facility was officially opened on November 27 by the Secretary of State for Business, Vince Cable MP.
The Secretary of State was given a tour of the facility off Whisby Road on Thursday, before he declared the plant open with a commemorative plaque.
The plant, which cost £125m, was funded by Prudential Borrowing via a loan from the National Loans Fund approved the Public Works Loan Board – part of HM Treasury.
Lincolnshire County Council’s Waste Services Department was awarded planning permission for an Energy from Waste (EfW) facility at North Hykeham in 2009.
FCC Environment manage the facility after securing the county council’s 25-year contract.
Since the EfW facility began operating for a test period in July 2013, 123,051 tonnes of waste material have been burnt, processing enough electricity to power 26,000 homes for a year.
Every day, the site processes 462 tonnes of waste that would other wise go to landfills, and is designed to generate enough electricity to power 15,000 homes each year.
Vince Cable, who also visited the University of Lincoln’s School of Engineering during his visit to the city, said: “This is one of the more uncontroversial and predictable sources of energy.
“We’ve reached a local deal with The Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership and one of the things that they are majoring on is energy and low carbon energy and a lot of thing appear to be fitting together here.”
“I think one issue is how much we keep in the UK because when it comes to sustainable schemes such as wind farms most of the equipment is bought over seas. We’re now starting to get the platforms, the turbines and the initiatives over here. Of course we’ve also got Siemens’ presence in Lincoln with the turbine service.”
Operations Manager Stewart Buckingham said: “We have been welcoming visitors already and we are open for bookings to our new visitors centre. We’ve welcomed schools and cub groups and the waste and recycling subject has been recently fit into the national curriculum.
“We have 33 members of staff here from varied backgrounds, mostly in engineering. We also train people, we have new apprentices starting soon and graduates going for positions too.
“We receive waste from five transfer stations across Lincolnshire and the deliveries come in between 7am and 5pm every day.”
Councillor Reg Shore, Executive Member for Waste and Recycling at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “What’s great about it is it’s structurally attractive and it’s not got the noise, the smoke, smell of some other factories.
“It’s taken us six years to get here and it’s the pinnacle of a lot off effort from a lot of people. It makes a statement about Lincolnshire economic development and the fact that we are here and ready for business.
“Not only is the plant efficiently disposing of both residential and commercial waste, but it’s feeding sustainable energy back into the grid and saving tax-payers’ money – and that certainly deserves celebrating.”