Facts and figures

Facts and figures about the Suffolk energy-from-waste facility

Key facts

Construction

Started in January 2012, with the facility fully operational by the end of 2014.

Capacity

269,000 tonnes of waste a year from households and some businesses.

Jobs

250 at the peak of construction and 44 permanent jobs once open.

Cost of the energy-from-waste facility

£180 million, funded by SUEZ. At the end of the contract, the facility will be owned by Suffolk County Council.

Main contractors

CNIM / Lagan.

Architects

Grimshaw (designers of the Eden Project in Cornwall).

Height of the chimneys

81 metres.

Height of the building

37.5 metres.

Cost benefits

  • Over the life of the contract, using energy-from-waste will cost the tax payer at least £350 million less than continuing to landfill.
  • A government grant, worth nearly £200 million over 25 years, will help pay for the running costs.
  • The sale of electricity to the National Grid — and potentially heat to private customers — will off-set the costs further.

Environmental benefits

  • The Suffolk energy-from-waste facility diverts waste from landfill.
  • It puts the waste to good use as a fuel to generate enough electricity for 30,000 homes, and potentially heat for local use. This reduces the need for increasingly scarce fuels such as oil, coal and gas.
  • This will reduce greenhouse gases by 75,000 tonnes a year (according to Environment Agency calculations) over the life of the project, which is equivalent to switching off Ipswich for two years.
  • The process allows for greater recycling – the ash, produced from burning the waste, is processed on site and used as an aggregate for road building. Metals are also extracted from the ash and recycled.
  • The Suffolk energy-from-waste facility has been confirmed as one of the greenest buildings in the country with an ‘outstanding’ rating from leading international assessors. The BREEAM scheme measures a building’s environmental performance - over two million buildings worldwide have been assessed with less than 2% achieving the outstanding rating.

Economic benefits

  • During construction, over 100 Suffolk firms won contracts worth around £13.5 million to supply good and services to the site.
  • Around £1 million will continue to be spent in the local economy every year.

Other benefits

  • The facility has a visitor centre offering environmental information and tours of the facility.
  • Funding for community groups based within a three-mile radius of the site is available through the SITA Trust.

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