Energy from waste giant snaps up 20 acres at former power station site for major facility

Energy from waste (EfW) operator and developer Wheelabrator Technologies is to buy 19.5 acres of land in Leeds, paving the way for a major redevelopment of a site that has been vacant since a former power station was demolished in 1990.

The land at Harworth Group’s Skelton Grange site adjacent to Junction 45 of the M1 in east Leeds, already has planning consent for a 300,000 tonne a year energy-from-waste facility, with a planning application to vary the capacity up to 410,000 tonnes expected to be submitted later this year.

The project is currently being developed by Wheelabrator Technologies with the support of Multifuel Energy (MEL), a joint venture between Wheelabrator Technologies and SSE.

Heads of terms have been signed with Beauparc to act as the sole supplier to the facility, and financial close is targeted for mid-2020.

The MEL joint venture currently operates Ferrybridge Multifuel 1 (FM1), a 675,000 tonnes-per-year facility in West Yorkshire and is currently completing the construction of a second 675,000 tonne per year facility Ferrybridge Multifuel 2 (FM2), which is expected to reach commercial operations in Q4 2019.

“Acquiring nearly 20 acres at Skelton Grange to create another energy-from-waste site is another major milestone for Wheelabrator,” said Paul Green, vice president of business development for Wheelabrator.

“We remain committed to investing in new long-term waste infrastructure in the UK, building and operating new energy-from-waste facilities that divert residential and business waste from landfill and produce renewable baseload energy for the local communities in which we operate.”

Brian McCabe, managing director of Beauparc, said: “We are excited to be the sole fuel supplier and part of this new development that enables us to enhance and expand our activities close to the M62 corridor whilst also continuing to supply fuel to the Ferrybridge 1 energy-from-waste facility.”

“We are extremely pleased to have been able to conclude negotiations with a business that has a proven track record in delivering energy-from-waste in the UK and US. The project will bring much needed renewable energy and employment opportunities to the region,” said Ian Ball, COO at Harworth.

Wheelabrator Technologies is the second largest US waste-to-energy business, and currently has a platform of 25 strategically located assets across the US and UK —19 waste-to-energy facilities (three under construction), two waste fuel facilities as well as four ash monofills.

Wheelabrator is owned by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, a business within the Macquarie Asset Management division of Macquarie Group and a global alternative asset manager focused on real estate, infrastructure, and agriculture and energy assets.