Europe’s largest household EFW complete

Following a successful commissioning phase in early 2020, Europe’s largest household waste recycling project, near Kemsley in Kent which can process up to 550,000 tonnes of waste per year was confirmed fully operational in July 2020.

Construction of the plant started in 2016. UMC Architects worked CNIM and Arup since 2015 on the design of this new 55MW energy plant. The highly complex facility has presented many challenges for the design team, to accommodate a structure and envelope around very sophisticated process equipment. UMC have been instrumental in developing and implementing a successful BIM strategy, which has greatly assisted in the design.

The combined heat and power facility will generate up to 49.9MW (net) of sustainable, baseload electricity for Kent and the South East.

The facility also provides up to 70 tonnes per hour of steam heat to DS Smith’s adjacent Kemsley Paper Mill.

Wheelabrator said the plant will play a “major role” in reducing waste sent to landfill or for European export, and will see the company as a whole processing 2.2 million tonnes of non–recyclable household and commercial waste each year.

Robert Boucher, president and CEO at Wheelabrator Technologies, said: “To be able to complete construction, hot commissioning, grid synchronisation and steam export to DS Smith during the COVID-19 pandemic is a fantastic accomplishment and a testament to the commitment of our team and our partners to work safely and make a difference.

“Takeover at Kemsley is the result of many years of commitment, hard work and strong partnerships with DS Smith, our customers and the communities we operate within.”