Deeside Waste Incinerator
Michael Redmond reported on his attendance at the April meeting of the Wheelabrator Parc Adfer Community Liaison Group in our June 2018 Newsletter. Don Howell attended the next meeting of the Group held on 25/7/18 and his update follows.
Wheelabrator (WTI) reported that the Parc Adfer incinerator project was proceeding in accordance with their plan and was to budget.
Your representative again raised BRA’s concern about micro-particulates which may remain in the flue exhaust gases, particularly (as the Association had been informed) from the incineration of plastics.
The WTI specialist combustion engineer said that they could not guarantee the removal of PM 2.5 micro-particulates (particles with a width of 2.5 microns or less) even though they would be using state-of-the-art filtration processes with the most modern combustion technology available in computerised fluid dynamics.
WTI had to operate within the limits of the environmental permit issued by the authority “Natural Resources Wales”. These were in line with EU statutory requirements. There would be 24 hours a day monitoring of the flue emissions and, if WTI exceeded the levels in the permit, they would have to shut down the plant. The combustion engineer added that he was confident that the technology which WTI was using would allow them to keep well within the permitted pollution levels. He stated that PM 2.5 micro-particulates could arise from the incineration of many materials – not just plastics.
The WTI project director added that they would be prepared to put in additional monitoring equipment aimed specifically at detecting PM 2.5 particles “if required by the environmental authority”, but he pointed out that because these particles were so small they were extremely difficult to detect and monitor.
The next Liaison Group meeting will be held on Wednesday 24th October 2018.
“Don Howell attended the third meeting of the Wheelabrator (WTI) Parc Adfer Community Liaison Group on 20/9/17. A tower crane has been erected on the site and has been operational since the second group meeting. The waste bunker building is now several storeys high and construction of the bases for the boiler house and the turbine hall has commenced. Almost all the piling on the site has been completed. WTI are now in the tenth month of a thirty-four month build programme and the project is on schedule.
Following a request from your representative, WTI has undertaken to update regularly their website http://parcadfer.comwith project progress reports including the latest video of the site taken by drone. The Community Liaison Group section of this website already carries meeting agendas and minutes (after their approval).
The representative from Natural Resources Wales gave a presentation which explained that his organisation had a legal obligation to issue WTI with an environmental permit to operate unless “there is adverse impact upon human health or the environment”. He confirmed that all specified limits in the permit, including those of noise and vibration, will be monitored when the facility is in operation. The results will be freely available to the public on request.
The next Community Liaison Group meeting is scheduled for the 24th January 2018.”
Don Howell attended the second meeting of the Wheelabrator (WTI) Parc Adfer Community Liaison Group on 21/6/17. Piling is now 80% complete and excavation and lining of the large bunker into which lorries will deliver waste is well advanced. Overall site progress is in line with plan. Meeting minutes and a video showing site progress will be available under the Community Liaison Group section of the http://parcadfer.com website.
Your representative raised a concern that noise from the lorries unloading waste into the bunker will escape unless all eight of the access doors to the reception hall are closed while this operation is taking place. WTI responded that the design of the facility aims at reducing noise pollution to a minimum. The representative from Natural Resources Wales added that building consents define upper allowable limits for noise generated by the facility and, if these are breached, sanctions may be applied to the operator. This issue will probably be re-visited at the next Community Liaison Group meeting which is scheduled for 20th September.
Michael Redmond attended the inaugral meeting of the Wheelabrator Parc Adfer Community Liasison Group on 9/3/17:
Work has started. The site has been cleared and pile driving will take 2 or 3 months before building commences.
The aim is to have the facility operating in the 3rd quarter of 2019.
Access by rail is not financially viable but road deliveries will operate between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday with the occasional Saturday mornings as well.
The incinerator will operate 24/7 and will generate enough electricity for 30,000 homes.
The next meeting is planned for June and further updates will follow.
Natural Resources Wales (the Welsh environment agency) have given notice that they "are minded to issue an Environmental Permit" for the Incinerator.
They have announced a consultation period which runs until 14th October and, as part of this consultation, they are holding a public drop in session on Tuesday 22nd September from 1.30pm to 7pm at the Deeside Leisure Centre.
For further information and the opportunity to email your views or concerns, please visit their website: Natural Resources Wales/WTI UK LTD
"As was feared, following the decision of the Flintshire County Council Planning Committee to refuse permission for the Incinerator, a further meeting of the Committee was convened to review the matter, This took place on 22nd May when Michael Redmond again spoke against the proposal prior to the Committee members considering the matter. Unfortunately, the committee reversed its earlier decision (which had been reached by the comfortable margin of 10 votes to 6) and granted permission for this £800 million project by the narrow majority of 7 votes to 6.
Construction will take between three and four years and the Association will monitor its progress and continue to press for highest standards of sound insulation in the structure of the building and of control of emissions from it once it is in operation"
Following a special meeting on 17th April of the Flintshire County Council Planning Committee, at which Michael Redmond spoke in support of the Association’s earlier written objection to the proposed waste incinerator, the Committee decided by 10 votes to 6 to refuse planning permission for this £800million project. The three main planks of the Association’s objection were, noise, air pollution and the obsolete technology of the incinerator. Prior to the meeting, the Association had been in lengthy correspondence with the Council, Wheelabrator Technologies Inc ( the applicant) and National Resources Wales ( the Welsh Environment Agency). The Association had also sought the advice of Professor David Oldham, a leading expert on the acoustics of buildings and other structures. Professor Oldham produced a Report which was very critical of Wheelabrator’s. Environmental Statement on noise and vibration, and which the Association circulated to all interested parties last Autumn. The Association is very grateful to Professor Oldham for his ready help and advice over the past seven months. This is very good news for the village, which could well be affected by noise or air pollution emanating from the proposed incinerator, but the refusal of planning permission is unlikely to be the end of the story. There is likely to be an appeal byWheelabrator, or possibly, a review of the decision by the Council itself – but we live to fight another day! To keep up with the latest news as it breaks, please visit the website.
Please see several articles published by the Welsh Daily Post and About My Area on the above subject.
During late October, the Association formally objected to the planned development (see enclosed letter below). The Association also were successful in seeking the advice of Professor D J Oldham, Emeritus Professor of the University of Liverpool who in turn, volunteered to write an Environmental Report on Noise and Vibration in support of our objection which was sent with our letter to Flintshire County Council. The Association would like to thank Professor Oldham, who lives in Ness, for kindly compiling this report to help support our objection to the project. Michael Redmond has also met with Puddington Parish Council and had email communications with the Clerk of Connahs Quay Town Council who have also formally objected to the development (see below).
The time for comment has been extended by Flintshire to the 31st December. A decision by the Planning Committee has been targeted by 31st January 2015.
Letter to Flintshire County Council
Head of Planning,
Flintshire County Council,
Flintshire, CH7 6NF
24th October 2014
FAO Mr R.W. Williams
Dear Mr Williams,
Planning Ref.No. 052626
ERF, Deeside Industrial Park ( Parc Adfer )
The Association has received numerous expressions of concern from residents about the potentially harmful effects of noise and emissions emanating from the proposed incinerator.
With regard to noise, the Association sought the advice of Professor David Oldham,
Emeritus Professor of the University of Liverpool, who has 40 years experience in this field. I now enclose his preliminary Report based on his examination of Chapter 9 of the SLR Environmental Statement (Noise and Vibration) which accompanies the above Planning Application.
You will see that Professor Oldham has identified serious shortcomings in the SLR presentation which mean that SLR’s conclusions cannot be verified and, therefore, relied upon. Your Authority will no doubt require SLR to supply the missing information so that a proper assessment of the acoustic impact of the proposed incinerator on the surrounding area can be made.
The Association requests that when the full details are available they are supplied to the Association for examination by Professor Oldham who will then be able to provide an informed opinion on this very important environmental aspect of the proposed development.
A particular area of concern is the noise which would emanate from the delivery of waste to the plant and the tipping of such waste in the delivery area. How is this to be contained?
Another cause for concern is the possible delivery of waste by rail sometime in the future.
The Association asks that this should be the subject of a separate Planning Application at the time so that conditions can be imposed to limit the hours of delivery and contain the noise produced by such delivery including that from the possible shunting of rail trucks.
In view of the widespread concern about noise from the operation of the proposed incinerator and its potential damaging effect on people living in the surrounding area, the Association requests that:-
1. Strict limits are placed on the number of deliveries of waste per day.
2. Deliveries are strictly limited to daytime hours.
3. Noise monitoring posts are installed at critical points around the plant and heavy financial penalties are imposed in the event of agreed noise levels at those points being exceeded.
Serious concerns have also been expressed with regard to the risk to health from harmful emissions from the Incinerator. However well these are screened, there will always be some small particulates (PM1s) which will escape and add to the particulates already emanating from other plants on the Deeside Industrial Park. This could result in a potentially dangerous accumulation of particulates carrying dioxins and other substances harmful to the many people living in the surrounding area. Could you please advise what investigation has been carried out into this issue by your Authority?
In view of the importance of the matters raised above, I shall be grateful if you will kindly acknowledge safe receipt of this letter and its enclosure.
Copy letter from Connah's Quay Town Council
28 October 2014
Mr Andrew Farrow
Head of Planning - Flintshire County Council
Dear Mr Farrow
Town and Country Planning Act 1990 - Applications
Further to the meeting of the Town Council held on 27 October 2014 Councillors discussed the following applications and made the following observations;
Town Council Observations
ERF, Deeside Industrial Park,
Proposed construction and operation of an Energy Recovery Facility (referred to as an ‘ERF’) and ancillary facilities, comprising offices and welfare facilities, visitor centre, bottom ash recycling and maturation facilities, access roads and weighbridge facilities, electrical compound, together with peripheral landscaping and security fencing. The proposals also make provision for a rail connection, sidings and associated infrastructure.
The Town Council objects to this application on the following grounds:-
· There are grave concerns at the process and procedure as to how this site was identified as the preferred option given that it was essentially donated to the project by the County Council.
· There is a sense that the County Council’s hands are tied on this project given the regulations laid down by Welsh Government on landfill, the agreement signed in 2010 with other North Wales authorities and the fact that if planning was refused and the project did not take place, Flintshire CC would be liable for approx. £70m in payments to other agencies and authorities. How can the Planning Committee consider the application objectively when they have such a conscious burden upon them?
· Concern is expressed about the potential for pollution by means of noise, dirt, litter, noxious emissions, vibration, fumes, soot, and ash.
· Concern is expressed about the increase in road traffic through heavy lorries diverting via built-up areas due to uncertainty when the A55 or other major routes are blocked or closed.
"After considerable delay, Wheelabrator has now arranged for representatives of the Association and other local bodies to visit a modern Incinerator
(similar to the one they propose to build on the Deeside Industrial Estate) which is already being operated by another company in Staffordshire.The visit will take place in October.
In recent months the Association has been in correspondence with Wheelabrator enquiring into the possible adverse effects of the Incinerator on those living in Burton and the surrounding area. In this connection, the Association has been liaising with Puddington & District Parish Council, Connah's Quay Town Council and Sealand Community Council.
These enquiries will intensify once the formal planning application for the Incinerator (with all the accompanying information) is available for inspection.At this stage expert advice may be necessary to assess the efficacy of Wheelabrator's proposals for the control of noise, odours and toxic emissions generated by the Incinerator.
Residents are invited to submit their views or concerns to the Association."
All Burton and Pudding Residents will have received "Parc Adfer" (Recovery Park) - Project Update 01 this week.
The brochure explains in more detail about how the Incinerator process works and confirms the project's timings. Wheelabrator Industries start a consulation tour around Deeside and Connah's Quay to convince those affected by the Incinerator project next month. They have also booked the Gladstone Village Hall on Thursday 12th June between 2pm and 8pm to answer residents questions. The Association has already formally objected to the Incinerator going ahead on the grounds of adding extra polution levels for the Deeside area, as well as additional noise which will add to the already noisy Shotton Paper Mill, if it is built next door.
We would urge all residents to attend and confirm your objection in person to this unwelcome development on our doorstep.
The following was published in The Leader 28th January 2014:
Published by: Owen Evans
CRUNCH talks on the future of the controversial Deeside incinerator plan will take
The joint committee of the North Wales Residual Waste Treatment Project (NWRWTP) will meet to discuss the
final tender lodged by Wheelabrator Technologies Inc (WTI) to build a huge incinerator on the Deeside
The incinerator – dubbed the Deeside burner – would
burn 150,000 tonnes of waste a year from across North Wales, creating energy from waste.
The partnership meeting, made up of representatives from five local authorities – with Flintshire Council as the ‘lead authority’ – will decide whether to agree upon the tender.
In a meeting in September, held behind closed doors, the committee invited the company to submit its bid for the controversial £800 million project, despite serious concernsabout a lack of tendering competition, given it was the only bidder left.
Last year, another bidder SITA UK withdrew from negotiations leaving only WTI in the running.
Councillors at the time argued continuing with the process was “unfair”. But it has emerged that at the September meeting the committee considered it to be safe to
continue with the tendering process.
Minutes of the meeting read: “A review of the risks had been undertaken by the partnership's advisors Amec (technical), Pinsent Masons solicitors (legal) and Grant Thornton (financial) and the Heads of Finance and Legal and Democratic
“In light of their joint advice, the balance of risk favoured proceeding with the procurement process.”
The minutes also revealed the committee decided on WTI operating the facility and road transportation elements of the burner only.
According to the report, this would mean “a separate delivery stream is required to deliver the partnership’s self-performed services”.
The councils in the partnership, which is also made up of Anglesey, Gwynedd, Conwy and Denbighshire authorities, need the plant so the amount of rubbish sent to landfill is reduced to help meet Welsh Government targets.
Deputy council leader Bernie Attridge and council leader Aaron Shotton, both from Connah’s Quay, have previously said Flintshire cannot get out of the partnership
following an agreement signed by the previous coalition administration.
Cllr Kevin Jones, cabinet member for public protection, waste and recycling, said: “If everything is agreed by the authorities following on from the meeting on Wednesday,
the process will be to take the detailed information to each of the other four councils and that will be the starting point of the finalisation.”
A spokesman for NWRWTP said: “NWRWTP agreed to proceed with the final stages of ‘competitive dialogue’ with the remaining bidder, WTI, earlier in 2013.
“Negotiations have continued positively with WTI in that time, before the partnership is due to make a final decision whether to select WTI as the preferred bidder to construct and operate a residual waste facility for the region.
"The NWRWTP joint committee has been through a rigorous and detailed scrutiny process and had been satisfied with the advice of its advisers and the advice of Welsh Government officials to proceed with the procurement process.
“The joint committee has been satisfied the project will fully meet Welsh Government policy on waste, that there are no legal risks to completing the procurement process and that it is fully meeting HM Treasury guidance for major
“The committee has also been satisfied the remaining bidder is developing a competitive bid which is already well within the cost limit it had set for all seven bidders at the outset.
“It should also be noted the NWRWTP has benefited from a highly competitive procurement process from the outset, with bids received from a large field of
experienced companies, and WTI had to compete throughout each of the procurement stages to get to the final stage.
“The project team will continue to negotiate the most competitive bid possible to assure the consortium councils, the Welsh Government and the public that value for money is secured.
"The joint committee noted the bids of WTI and the bidders previously in the process were almost identical. Given the advanced stage the procurement process had reached and the ongoing negotiations with WTI the joint committee was in complete
agreement to proceed.
"The NWRWTP has worked constructively and in great detail with WTI to maximise value for money for the partnership."
In January 2013, Flintshire County Council’s Environment Department published a report on the project which is freely available on the internet and it highlighted the following:
Failure for the Councils to not meet their reducing need for using landfill over a targeted time period would have a fine of £200 per ton levied by the Welsh Government.
The indicative size of the process building at the facility has a footprint of 5.500m2, that is approximately half the size of the Asda store in Queensferry or smaller than a football pitch and the facility will have a capacity of between 150,000 to 180,000 tonnes of waste treated per annum.
It is projected that the five councils will provide 115,000 tonnes per annum of residual municipal waste, after recycling at least 63% of their total waste before disposal. The remaining capacity will be taken up by the successful operator treating municipal type waste they take either from other local authorities or from the commercial sector.
The final tender submission is due this month, with individual authority approved bidder and final business case approvals to be completed by December 2013. The contract will be awarded in January 2014 with submission of the planning application in March 2014. The operational date is planned for late 2017.
The following has been obtained from published articles in the Wrexham Leader and Flintshire Chronicle this year. In February, one of the two companies shortlisted for the project Sita has withdrawn from the tender process, leaving Wheelabrator Technologies as the only approved bidder. Connah’s Quay Town Council questioned how safe the process was with only one company left in the bidding? NWRWTP confirmed, Wheelabrator’s alternative process is safe and their technology is almost identical.
At a heated meeting between Connah’s Quay Town Councilor’s and Flintshire County Council in February, it was revealed that it would cost Flintshire £20 million to pull out of the project! Flintshire Council Chief Executive Colin Everett explained that the former administration of the council agreed to the inter-authority partnership without knowing the total penalty of opting out and if the authority backed out now, Flintshire Council would face a £20 million bill, made up of the repayment of the project support to Welsh Government, compensation to the bidders and the four councils in the agreement and the costs of the council’s own procurement process. Longer term liabilities include the council not being able to avoid a £6 million per year landfill tax and the loss of a 25 per cent subsidy from Welsh Government for the running costs over 25 years.
In summary, over the past year, the Association has formally logged an objection to the project going ahead with Flintshire County Council and going forward, we will be working with our Planning Expert, John Wressencraft to see what can be done when the project goes to formal planning? With the cost penalties involved and the backing of the Welsh Government, this is going to be another difficult one to stop!
Last month, NWRWTP announced that the council owned former steelworks site on Deeside Industrial Park had been chosen. As you can see from the image below released by NWRWTP, the proposed location is next to Shotton Paper Mill and will be in clear view from Burton and Puddington!
The following is a table extract from NWRWTP’s Information Pack on the proposed facility:
The following articles were published in the Flintshire Chronicle on 22nd August and 30th August:
Deeside chosen as North Wales incinerator site
Aug 22 2012 by Dave Goodban, Flintshire Chronicle
AN INCINERATOR will be built in Deeside to burn household waste from across North Wales, it was confirmed this afternoon (Wednesday).
Councillors and campaigners have vowed to fight plans for a so-called energy-from-waste plant in the centre of Deeside Industrial Park – near UPM Shotton – since the possibility was first mooted.
But today the team behind the project to burn rubbish from across Flintshire, Anglesey, Conwy, Denbighshire and Gwynedd confirmed their fears.
The North Wales Residual Waste Treatment Project (NWRWTP) will see a new facility deal with about 150,000 tonnes of waste from across the five counties so the amount of rubbish sent to landfill is reduced to meet Welsh Government targets.
The final two bidders in the running for the mult-million pound contract – Sita UK and Wheelabrator – both specialise in incineration and identified the Deeside site as the one they would build on if chosen.
Deputy council leader Bernie Attridge, who represents Connah’s Quay, said: “My worst fears have become a reality. I have significant concerns for the health and wellbeing of the residents of Deeside.”
“I will continue to press for absolute assurances over the impact of emissions – and I will be seeking those assurances immediately.”
NWRWTP bosses say as much waste as possible will be transported by rail to reduce carbon emissions and air quality monitoring will be of a higher level than normal industry standards.
NRWRTP chief executive Colin Everett said: “The studies we have show it will make a marginal impact on air quality in an already industrial area – a miniscule impact.”
Project leaders say members of the public will be invited to a series of information and feedback sessions throughout September and October
Deeside Incinerator protesters seek assurances over health issues
Aug 30 2012 By Claire Devine
A FLINTSHIRE taxpayer is backing councillors’ calls for assurances the gases belched from an incinerator at Deeside Industrial Park will not damage people’s health.
North Wales Residual Waste Treatment Project (NWRWTP) leaders say the building of a 150,000-tonne-a-year burner will have a minimal impact on air quality in an already-industrial area.
But an anti-incineration campaign group has told the Chronicle there is no evidence to counter their claims the dioxins emitted are harmful.
Last week community leaders in Deeside expressed their concerns about the potential impact of the burner, and said they would be seeking assurances.
NWRWTP bosses say air quality monitoring will be of a higher level than normal industry standards, but action group CHAIN (Cheshire Anti-Incineration Network) say there is no way they can disprove claims burning plants cause health problems.
Chairman Brian Cartwright has previously told the Chronicle: "Areas near to incinerators have higher rates of cancer and heart disease, and there is a linear increase in mortality."
CHAIN spokesman Liam Byrne added: "We have repeatedly made the point that there is no medical research which can be used to give reassurances to the public about the potential health effects."
Project leaders say members of the public will be invited to a series of information and feedback sessions throughout September and October, but the dates and venues have not yet been confirmed.
Incinerator Q & A
How was the site selected?
The partnership worked closely with all five authorities to conduct a thorough search for suitable sites, and project leaders say bidders have been free to propose other locations throughout the process. The council-owned former steelworks site in the centre of Deeside Industrial Park was chosen as the most suitable, in part because it’s a brownfield site away from homes with excellent rail links. The NWRWTP did identify a possible site near Holyhead and entered into talks with the owners Anglesey Aluminium, but the company later opted out.
What will be burnt there?
The rubbish remaining after materials have been separated for recycling or composting is generally composed of a mix of wastes such as non-recyclable plastics, textiles, paper and card contaminated by food, nappies and DIY waste.
How are impacts on the environment and residents considered?
Project leaders say the impact of the plant has been considered ‘in depth at every stage of the site selection process’. A NWRWTP spokesman said: "The company selected will be required to carry out an environmental impact assessment in preparation for submitting a planning application. "These will include assessment of the proposal’s impact on air quality and health, highways and transportation, noise and vibration and climate change. "The operator will need to apply to the Environment Agency for a permit, in which they will need to show they intend to operate in an environmentally acceptable manner. "If this application is successful then they will need to operate in strict compliance with their permit conditions."
Why is the proposed solution ‘energy-from-waste’?
The Welsh Government says EfW is the most sustainable solution. It means residual waste is used as a resource to make electricity or as heat for industry, offices or homes.
How big will the building be?
The NWRWTP team says the facility will be ‘small in comparison to other industrial buildings that surround the site’. The main processing building would be about 5,500 sq m, less than 10% of the size of the main building at the adjacent Toyota plant and about half the size of the Asda Queensferry site. The height of the building would be a maximum of 46m, with the chimney stack unlikely to be more than 80m.
Will the plant operate 24 hours a day?
Although the facility itself will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, HGV deliveries will likely be restricted to daytime hours.