|Project||Northwest Centre of Excellence for Waste Treatment (Huyton Demonstrator)|
|Partner||Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affair, NWDA and Envirolink Northwest|
|Funding||NWDA / public||£13m|
|The pioneering facility in Huyton, Merseyside was developed by Fairport’s subsidiary, Orchid Environmental Limited and was the first of its kind in theUK. It used a process which converts household and commercial waste into refined renewable biomass fuel products and recovered mixed recyclable materials, and can be used to treat 50,000 tonne a year of mixed municipal waste. This prestigious national pilot project converted non-hazardous household waste to a high quality green fuel using a patented process called Mechanical Heat Treatment (MHT). The process used a low temperature technology known as mechanical heat treatment to convert waste into a renewable biomass fuel. This fuel can then be used as a sustainable alternative to expensive and diminishing reserves of fossil fuels in order to generate power and heat in various types of combustion plants elsewhere.|
|Outputs||18 jobs created / safeguarded, 1 demonstration project initiated2 new waste technology products developed|
|Lessons learned||The market demand for residual waste treatment is high – given the interest shown and comments given by the large number of visitors over the demonstration period (over 800) and the lack of other residual waste treatment facilities in the Northwest.The timing was ostensibly right for placing this new technology in the market place.The negotiation of and subsequent management of the funding agreements, Design and Build, and Operation and Maintenance contracts and funding claims/payments processes between Defra/NWDA/Envirolink NWDA/MWDA/Fairport and Orchid (capital and revenue) were complex and challenging.The setting up of the facility even before operation of the process has been at times a rollercoaster – particularly the acquisition of the building (purchase by the MWDA of the freehold on the land and buildings (including negotiating new lease to sitting tenants), installation of gas and electric supply to the site, all contributing to a delayed commencement of 2-3 months.Engineering problems during operations – mostly caused by third parties to Orchid e.g. percentage of textiles in the MWDA waste supplied (16% as compared to original compositional analysis showing 4.6%) which necessitated substantial modifications to the waste shredding equipment; breakdowns in key sorting and separation equipment (third party supplied) due to defects in manufacture.
The establishment from scratch of an operations team for Orchid’s first waste treatment facility was rewarding; seeing 34 new jobs created, the vast majority locally, through the invaluable services of the Job Centre Plus.
|Future outlook||The technology was proved to be successful and is likely to be adopted elsewhere.|