Vital Energi invests in Energy from Waste Facility Set to Add 18MWe of Green Energy to the Grid

Vital Energi have just signed a major contract to develop a new energy from waste facility near Burton Upon Trent that is set to contribute to greening the grid by generating 18MWe of electricity from non-recyclable Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF).

The Drakelow Energy from Waste plant has been designed by the Vital Energi team and will be built, owned and operated by the Vital Energi Group. In addition to generating 18MWe of low-carbon electricity, the facility will also make a valuable contribution to diverting waste from landfill with the capability of processing 169,000 tonnes of non-recyclable Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) each year.

Vital Energi is investing its own technical and financial resources into this facility with the balance of the investment being provided from external funding sources.

Ashley Malin, Vital Energi’s Project Development Director explains, “The UK faces many environmental challenges and this facility is an exciting opportunity to reduce carbon emissions and divert waste from landfill. We are extremely excited to be delivering and operating this facility, which will make a positive contribution to the UK’s low-carbon infrastructure.

“We have worked with a team of industry experts in the Energy from Waste (EfW) sector to bring this project to market and we would like to thank them for their contributions to deliver a major project that will contribute to the UK’s low carbon infrastructure.”

The Vital Energi team have been supported by a range of specialist companies and stakeholders which includes:

  • Squire Patton Boggs – Provided legal support for all aspects of the transaction from the outset to financial close.  The team was led by Corporate and Infrastructure Partners James Fitzgibbon and Nick Helm respectively, and also included Mark Gaffney (Real Estate), Rinku Bhadoria (Energy Finance) and Patrick Ford (Tax).

  • Royal Haskoning - Have been the technical adviser on the project, along with providing additional support on the key technology islands ensuring what is procured and designed aligns with proven market standards.  They will have a key role going forwards as the “owners engineer” to ensure correct standards are adhered to throughout the construction process.

  • Future Earth Energy (FEE) – Are the developer of the scheme who set up and owned “ProjectCo” and procured the planning permission, environmental permit, land option, grid connection and the fuel supplier for the Drakelow facility.  This was all acquired by Vital Energi during the contract closure process and the FEE team integrated seamlessly into the financial close of the project and retains a longer-term interest in the project.

  • EON – Own the land on which the Drakelow Energy from Waste Facility will be built and have provided a long term (33 year) lease and laydown area lease which allows for adequate storage of equipment and materials away from the main construction site.  This project is the first fully manned tenant on this exciting new “Drakelow Energy Park” industrial development.

  • Beauparc Group worked with Brian McCabe (MD) and his team and has been awarded the exclusive fuel supply agreement and will supply Vital Energi with 169,000 tonnes of refuse derived fuel over the long-term supply contract. Beauparc Group are the UK & Ireland’s leading producer and exporter of RDF & SRF, supplying over 1.3m tonnes annually to contracts throughout Ireland, the UK, European & Worldwide markets.  Beauparc support the production of RDF & SRF through the annual collection and treatment of 4 million tonnes of waste from their UK & Ireland network of waste management sites.

The RDF is combusted, and the syngas produced during this process is then consumed by the boiler to create steam which then drives the 18MWe steam turbine which generates electricity.  An additional benefit of the project is that Vital Energi have designed the facility so that the heat generated can be used to provide heat and hot water for nearby developments should demand arise.

The new energy from waste facility is scheduled to be completed by 2023 and Vital Energi will have a 30-year concession to operate the facility.

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