India’s Tata Group company Tata Chemicals is setting up a 60 MW Waste to Energy plant in UK in partnership with one of Europe’s biggest utilities E.On. The company will set up the waste to energy plant at a mothballed coal power plant site and will use solid industrial and municipal waste as fuel for the plant. The WTE plant will cost around 400 million dollars ( around $6.6/watt) and will be take around 3 years to be built. The company has got the go ahead from UK’s DECC and will supply power for the in-house use of Tata Chemical’s factory. Note like other WTE plants around the world, this project also faced strong local opposition as citizens were concerned about the health effects from the WTE emissions.
The experience of WTE plants has been mixed with some countries that have planned Waste Life cycle management in a comprehensive manner being successful. However India’s experience with Waste to Energy plants has not been great till now. In India like everything, Government does things in a haphazard way which leads to problems later. The first WTE plant in India built in 1990 was shut down as waste was not segregated. However 20 years on, nobody seems to have learned anything as still all kinds of waste are burnt in the incinerators leading to the emissions of harmful substances. These emissions lead to major problems from local residents which the Government is not prepared to consider.
The Lostock plant is set to be built on the site of a disused coal-fired power station at Tata’s chemical manufacturing site and deal with about 600,000 tonnes of waste-derived fuel a year. This waste has had all the economically recyclable materials removed and would otherwise be sent to landfill for disposal.
A 60MW energy-from-waste plant in Cheshire backed by Tata Chemicals and E.ON has been given government approval on Tuesday following a year-long public inquiry.