Cory Environmental’s new Riverside Resource Recovery (RRR) Energy from Waste (EfW) facility at Belvedere in Bexley has been officially opened by Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal.
RRR plays a crucial role in the integrated waste management solution which Cory Environmental has developed to process London’s waste. The facility will make an important contribution to the capital’s ability to meet its landfill diversion and renewable energy targets for the next 30 years.
Speaking at the opening event, The Princess Royal said: “This project demonstrates how far modern waste management has come by viewing waste as a resource to produce electricity. Generating energy from the waste we produce is a sensible reuse of resources.
“Having opened the Materials Recycling Facility in Wandsworth last year, I am very pleased to come back and, following the waste’s journey up the Thames, see the final stage of the process.”
Peter Gerstrom, Chief Executive of Cory Environmental, said: “I am delighted that The Princess Royal has recognised the importance of the work we are doing to reduce the impact London’s waste has on the environment and the potential of that waste to generate renewable energy.”
The RRR facility will process an average of 585,000 tonnes of non-recyclable residual waste each year, generating 66MW of renewable electricity for export to the National Grid – enough to power around 100,000 homes. RRR is currently the largest EfW facility in the UK, and one of the most efficient.
Peter continued: “The process of taking control and commencing operations at the plant has been very smooth. The plant is about to start its availability trials which are the final phase of commissioning and it is already exporting electricity to the National Grid.”
The majority of the waste comes from four London boroughs - Wandsworth, Hammersmith and Fulham, Lambeth and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Cory Environmental also holds contracts with the London Borough of Bexley, the City of London and Westminster City Council, and the facility also takes commercial and industrial waste from the surrounding area.
RRR incorporates a 270m long deep-water jetty, which enables the majority of waste to be delivered by river, removing more than 100,000 lorry movements from the capital's congested roads each year.
RRR produces around 170,000 tonnes of Incinerator Bottom Ash (IBA) each year. This ash is the principal residue from the incineration process, and is transported by river to Tilbury in Essex where it is used to make aggregate for the construction sector. It is already being used on the M25 widening scheme.
Construction work on RRR commenced in summer 2008 and Cory Environmental took full operational control in October 2011.