Shanks wins $1.2 billion waste treatment facility project in UK

Shanks Group plc, a UK-based waste management company, has signed a 25 year £750 million ($1.21 billion) private finance initiative (PFI) deal with Wakefield Council for the development of a residual waste treatment facility at South Kirkby, Wakefield,UK.

The facility will treat and recycle waste from the Wakefield District and transform it into several valuable products and green energy, using a number of processes. The proposed facility will have a processing capacity of up to 230,000 tons of municipal solid waste per annum and divert almost 90% of the waste from the landfills.

The facility will have an onsite material recycling facility, which will separate out the clean mixed recyclate material derived from the Wakefield District’s households, which will then be forwarded to specialist markets.

The remainder of the material will be treated using an existing autoclave, which will sterilize the material and feed the resultant product to a 65,000 tons per annum anaerobic digestion (AD) plant, where the material will be converted into biogas for renewable energy generation.

The energy generated by the plant can offset the power requirements of approximately 3,000 homes. The electricity generated at the site will be used to power the plant, while the remainder will be fed to the grid. The facility will also produce a nutrient-rich soil conditioner as a by-product of the AD process.

The facility will also produce refuse derived fuel, which will be supplied to a multi-fuel plant, which is being built at the Ferrybridge Power Station, for further processing for energy recovery.

The green waste will be processed via an enclosed air controlled composting plant and its output will be used for land remediation projects across the Wakefield District. The construction work on the new facility will generate approximately 250 jobs in the region and a further 60 permanent jobs are likely to be created once the facility commences operations.

Additional work as a part of the contract involves take over a network of Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs), transfer stations and bringing sites within the Wakefield District. The company will also be building a Visitors Centre at the South Kirkby site, which will be used for the purpose of waste education and the promotion of waste minimisation.

The project is being funded by the UK Green Investment Bank and a consortium of international banks, which include Barclays, BayernLB and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation.