Posted on: 16th May 2022
The future of UK EfW Development
This month, Tolvik released their eighth annual report, ‘2021 UK Energy from Waste Statistics’. The report reveals EfW capacity is expected to grow from 14.9Mt/year of residual waste processed in 2021 to 19.4Mt/yr by 2026 but goes on to highlight signs of a likely slowdown in the development of UK EfW plants.
The report looks at EfW plants in the pipeline, stating that a number of projects post financial close have since ‘ceased being progressed, been cancelled and/or have been refused consent’ and ‘fewer new projects are now being actively brought forward’.
In addition to the report, Tolvik Director, Adrian Judge clarified this further in MRW, commenting ‘we estimate that only six more [plants] are needed if the UK wants to be a sensible market.’
Andusia acknowledges this opinion in broad terms and have been anticipating the number of new plants decreasing, as the prospect of developing a new facility becomes a less attractive option.
Mark Terrell, Andusia Director, comments ‘There were a number of facilities achieving financial close up until 2016 but we have seen a dip in the number of plants being built since. Only 3-4 plants per year reached financial close in recent years, which will help to diminish the gap. However, this will still leave a large deficit in the UK waste treatment infrastructure and the long-term trend is a slowdown in the development of new facilities.’
Building new EfW facilities is a long process. Developers need to acquire land, get planning permission, apply for permits, select technology, get funding and finally source a constant supply of waste. Most new plants require a 10-year, fixed price, waste supply contract in order to gain investment. A fuel supply risk that can lead developers to struggle getting the third-party financing they need.
Looking to the future of waste disposal, there will continue to be a capacity deficit, between waste needing treatment and available capacity to treat said waste in the UK. Landfill sites are closing at a fast rate and existing UK Energy from Waste (EfW) plants are full to capacity. With this in mind, Andusia foresee a continued requirement for RDF export over the next 10 years.
Terrell ended ‘When demand for UK waste treatment has fast out-grown the available EfW plants in the UK and increasing the infrastructure here in the UK is slowing, the best solution remains – to export our waste to those countries that have a short-fall’.
Since Andusia’s launch in 2012, the company has grown to be one of the UK’s largest independent exporters of RDF across Europe. Over the past 10 years they have developed a strong supply base of professional UK waste management companies; and established long lasting relationships with some of the largest EfW plants in Europe.
Andusia are also committed to supporting new UK infrastructure and are working with developers to bridge the gap between waste suppliers and plants.
Contact Andusia today to discuss your RDF, SRF and hazardous waste supply or offtake opportunities.