Frequently Asked Questions
UBB is under contract with Gloucestershire County Council, the Waste Disposal Authority, to construct and operate an Energy from Waste (EfW) facility at Javelin Park, Haresfield, Gloucestershire, near Junction 12, M5. The project is now in the construction phase.
The facility will have the capacity to process 190,000 tonnes of residual waste per year. This will largely comprise the residual waste from households across the county after recycling, and also waste of similar composition from commercial businesses.
The Gloucestershire EfW project has been subject to rigorous examination and scrutiny, and information on the planning application and associated documents can be researched through the Gloucestershire County Council web site.
What’s happening at Javelin Park?
The EfW facility will treat all the residual household waste generated in Gloucestershire and collected by the District Councils or taken to Household Waste Recycling Centres, making the county self-sufficient in terms of waste treatment capacity. This keeps ‘waste miles’ down and supports recycling through recovery of metals and Incinerator Bottom Ash.
Javelin Park is a suitable site for an EfW facility based on a number of planning and environmental criteria, including proximity to major road networks and proximity to the main sources of waste within the county.
Why recover energy from waste?
- It diverts the maximum amount of waste from landfill.
- It treats waste that cannot be readily recycled or composted that is currently landfilled.
- It reduces the amount of methane released from landfill (methane is more than 21 times more effective at trapping heat within the atmosphere than carbon dioxide).
- It generates energy in the form of steam or hot water that can be used directly, or more commonly converted to electricity.
- It provides indigenous energy supply, adding to the UK’s energy security.
- Around 50% of the energy recovered may be called renewable by reason of the organic/biogenic composition of waste feedstock. This contributes to renewable energy targets.
Legislation means we can no longer rely on landfill to dispose of our waste, and we must look at alternative options for waste management. Waste in landfill sites generates the potent greenhouse gas methane, contributing to climate change.
Landfill Tax also continues to rise, and Gloucestershire County Council has estimated that the new residual waste facility will save the Council £100 million over the 25-year contract compared with landfill.
The EfW technology has a sound operational record. It will provide consistently low emissions, high energy recovery, additional recycling, and high diversion from landfill.
The specific technology chosen for each aspect of the combustion process will use Best Available Techniques and this will be kept under review by the Environment Agency.
Under government guidance, “Best Available Techniques” means the available techniques that are best for preventing or minimising the impact on the environment. “Techniques” include both the technology used and the way any installation is designed, built, maintained, operated, and decommissioned.
What will be the outcome?
The gross electrical output of the facility will be 17.4 MW. After taking power to run the facility it will export 14.5 MW, or around 116,000 MWh/year to the grid, providing the equivalent electrical energy to power 25,000 homes.
The facility is designed to be a Combined Heat and Power Plant, so that as well as generating electricity, it will be capable of supplying heat or steam to be used by neighbouring businesses.
How long will construction take?
Construction of the facility is predicted to take 33 months. It is expected to be fully operational by July 2019. The first waste vehicles will start to arrive at the site, as part of commissioning trials, around March 2019.
Who is building the facility?
The facility is being constructed by a joint venture between Balfour Beatty and Urbaser Ltd.
How big is it?
The EfW facility will sit on a 12.6 acre plot. The footprint of the main building complex will be around 9,200 square metres.
The maximum height of the main boiler hall is 48.5 metres above surrounding ground level, and the chimney stack is 70 metres tall.
How many people will be employed during construction?
In mid-construction during 2017 and 2018 there may be up to 400 people working on site across a wide range of roles.
Will it provide job and business opportunities for local people and firms?
Whilst many of the main components of the facility will be sourced from outside the UK, there is a great reliance on local and UK-based suppliers of goods and services across a broad range of construction activities. Such provisions include: plant and equipment hire; mechanical and electrical services; construction supplies such as stone and concrete; accommodation and catering for site workers and visitors; site security; administration and support staff; utilities connections.
How many additional lorries and cars will pass through the local road network?
The highest volume of Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) traffic entering and leaving the construction site will be in the early months of the project, and will involve removal of excavated material. During this period HGV traffic could be expected to be on average around 60 vehicles entering and 60 leaving the site per day. For comparison, when the facility is fully operational, HGV traffic associated with deliveries of waste and consumables, and removal of ash and residues will be approximately 104 in and 104 out.
All construction related HGVs will access the site on the B4008 from the west via the M5 Junction 12 and the A38 from Gloucester.
How will you control traffic, noise, dust, and mud on the highway?
Traffic management and measurements that are employed to control noise, dust, and mud on the highway are set out in the Construction Environment Management Plan, approved under Conditions 6 and 7 of the planning permission.
What will be the most noticeable construction activities?
Most noisy activities are largely related to construction, though this is not expected to be excessively intrusive. In addition, during the facility’s commissioning phase there will be some short term steam venting activities over a period of a couple of weeks.
Visually, the construction site will be lit to enable work to be carried out safely during the (working) hours of darkness.
There will be a number of cranes on site at various periods of construction. Some will be capable of lifting up to around 80m above ground level.
Traffic associated with the construction of the facility is referenced above.
What controls are in place to regulate construction activity?
The construction impacts and mitigations are set out in the Construction Environment Management Plan (CEMP), which is approved under Condition 6 and 7 of the planning permission.
In addition, agencies such as the local Environmental Health Office and the Environment Agency have duties to respond to complaints or activities that could impair the environment or cause nuisance to the local community.
Are there risks to groundwater, or a flood risk?
The Environment Agency’s indicative flood maps reveal that the site is located in Flood Zone 1; that is of low risk of flooding. The site does not lie above a Groundwater Source Protection Zone. For more information on geology, flood risk, and groundwater, refer to the Environmental Assessment.
What are the construction working hours?
Construction working hours are controlled by Condition 12 of the planning permission.
Permitted hours of working are 07.00 to 19.00 hours Mondays to Fridays; 07.00 to 12.00 hours on Saturdays; no working on Sundays or Bank Holidays. In May 2017 Urbaser Balfour Beatty agreed with the Waste Planning Authority (in consultation with the District Council Environmental Health Officers) to an operational framework that would permit extended working hours, which may include weekend and 24 hour working, subject to an agreed range of activities, close monitoring and appropriate notice given to the Authorities and liaison with near neighbours.
How can people be kept informed of progress?
We issue regular construction update bulletins – approximately every month or more frequently in anticipation of major construction events. In addition, there is a quarterly newsletter that carries information on progress. These are published on this website, which will also carry latest news. If you would like to receive update bulletins and newsletters directly by email, sign up here.
Can people visit the site during construction?
Whilst the construction site will not be open for visits by members of the public on an ad hoc basis, we will be happy to host presentations and site visits for organised groups from parishes, schools, and special interest groups. Refer to the 'Staying in touch' area on this web site.
Who do I contact if I have a query or complaint?
The contact email address for queries is firstname.lastname@example.org
The emergency out-of-hours contact phone number is 07860 268578.
In addition, there is an active Community Liaison Group (CLG), which meets regularly to review progress and address issues. The Group comprises members of local Parish Councils, and District and County councillors. Residents can make representations through their local representatives. More information on the CLG can be found here.