It is only 15 months since the ground was broken at the site in Millerhill, Midlothian and over this time construction of the new state-of-the-art energy-from-waste plant, which will serve the City of Edinburgh and Midlothian, has reached an advanced stage.
Environment leaders from the City of Edinburgh and Midlothian Councils visited the site this week, to see the progress for themselves.
The Millerhill Recycling and Energy Recovery Centre (RERC) is being developed by FCC Environment (UK), which signed a 25-year contract to deliver and operate the £142m plant in October 2016. FCC Environment (UK) has contracted the lead Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) role to a joint venture formed by FCC Medio Ambiente SA and Hitachi Zosen Inova (HZI).
The build, which is scheduled to take 30 months, is on a brownfield site which is now barely recognisable as the former Millerhill Marshalling Yard. The main building has now reached its full height with the first part of the roof structure having been installed at the end of December. Over the last six months a vast amount of specialist equipment has been delivered and installed in the facility.
The plant is set to enter full operation in 2019 and will treat around 135,000 tonnes of household residual waste and a further 20,000 tonnes of commercial waste every year. It will generate sufficient electricity to satisfy the energy demands of up to approximately 32,000 households. Construction will continue through the rest of 2018 and the two Councils are expected to start delivering waste to the facility at the end of the year to allow the important commissioning and testing phase to get underway.
A separate facility, which takes all of the food waste collected by the partner councils, is already in operation on the neighbouring site to the RERC. It is hoped these new facilities to treat both food and non-recyclable waste, creating renewable energy in the process, will help both authorities contribute to the national recycling target of 70% by 2025 and the national landfill diversion target of 95% by 2025.