Green light for energy plant

Permission has been granted for the construction of a new waste recycling and combined heat and power plant.

Midlothian Council today (Tuesday 15 September) unanimously granted planning permission to FCC Environment (UK) Ltd for the construction of a waste recycling and combined heat and power plant on former railway marshalling yards at Millerhill in Midlothian.

FCC Medio Ambiente SA was appointed preferred bidder in December 2014 for the contract to design, build, finance and operate facilities to treat and recover value from all the waste collected by City of Edinburgh and Midlothian Councils that currently goes directly to landfill.

This 25-year contract will involve the thermal treatment of up to 135,000 tonnes of mixed waste annually to produce electricity for the National Grid and heat suitable for a district heating scheme, with less than 5% of all waste going to landfill in line with Scottish Government targets.

Councillor Lesley Hinds, Environment Convener for City of Edinburgh Council, said: “This decision takes us a step closer to our goal of achieving the highest possible public participation in recycling while having dedicated, competitively priced facilities that will use all the remaining waste that cannot be readily recovered as a valuable resource.”

“In combination with the food waste treatment plant which is nearing completion, these facilities will boost our recycling rate, guarantee we would meet our landfill diversion targets and make a significant contribution towards Scotland’s renewable energy targets.”    

Councillor Jim Bryant, Cabinet Member for Economic Development at Midlothian Council, said: “This decision is of equal benefit to both partner councils as it represents the chance to turn a derelict, brownfield site into a valuable energy production centre.

“A district heating network could bring economic benefits to the many exciting developments that are transforming the Shawfair area and beyond, as well as attracting other innovative projects and employment opportunities.”

Gordon Pollock, Zero Waste Project Director, said: “Our project team is working up the details of the agreement with the aim of the partner councils signing the contract with FCC in December.”  

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