Council leader backs plans for £150m investment in Royton energy recovery facility

Date published: 05 August 2020

Former industrial land off Mossdown Road in Royton has been identified as a suitable location for a £150m state-of-the-art energy recovery facility to safely transform non-recyclable waste into low carbon energy.

A planning application is being prepared for the facility to support the existing waste management operations in Oldham and the surrounding areas to reduce the distance waste is transported for treatment as part of a climate resilience programme by UK low carbon developer Synenergy.

With the development currently undergoing technical preparation work to support a planning application later in the year, the facility would form a cornerstone of the post-COVID recovery plan with £150m investment in low carbon technology for Oldham.

The proposed development is being brought forward in partnership with existing Royton waste management operation Wheeldon Brothers, with much of the waste already collected being transported to the North East or even Europe for treatment, meaning if the facility was granted planning permission there would be a reduction in waste vehicles leaving on Oldham’s roads.

Once operational, the facility will safely treat 250,000 tonnes of waste each year that would otherwise be sent many miles to generate enough electricity to power 50,000 homes.

The proposals for the facility will be shared with the community for consultation in September, but in the meantime the developer has launched a dedicated project website for members of the community to learn more about the proposals –

Councillor Sean Fielding, Leader of Oldham Council, said: “This development would be one of the largest private sector investments in Oldham.

"The past few months have been hugely challenging for everyone, but as we look to build back better it is vitally important that we have the ability to reduce the carbon impact of businesses in Oldham, to make our borough greener and healthier.

"This new facility is being designed with the most efficient environmental controls and will be able to generate low carbon electricity for use in homes and businesses.

"In the future it could even heat homes like in Denmark where such schemes offer low cost, low carbon heating for local communities.”

Darren Alderson, Commercial Director of Synenergy Merchant Services, developer of the Mossdown Road ERF, added: “We have identified a real need in the Oldham area for greater waste treatment options.

"Much of the waste produced by businesses is collected in Oldham, then put on further lorries and driven hundreds of miles to the North East or sent by ship to be treated in Europe.

"It is important as we look more closely at the carbon impact of the UK’s economy that we can reduce unnecessary carbon emissions.

"The proposed Mossdown Road Energy Recovery Facility will see a £150m investment in the economy to benefit many businesses and will safely transform waste collected in the Oldham area into low carbon electricity.

"We look forward to sharing our emerging proposals with the local community in the coming months.”

Ian Murray, Managing director of Recycling PVC Ltd in Oldham, said: “Over the past two years Malaysia and India have become the new destinations for the UK’s unwanted plastic waste since China closed its borders to this type of so-called recycled plastic imports.

“So it’s welcome news that Oldham is taking a lead on a state of the art waste to energy plant in its own town.

"The plant has been in the pipeline for four years and appears to have the full backing of the people of Oldham, with no objections in the first round of planning.“

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