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Covanta withdraw application to build £400m Brig y Cwm biomass plant

Plans for a massive biomass plant near Merthyr Tydfil will not go ahead after the energy company behind the Brig y Cwm development confirmed they were pulling out of the project.

A spokesperson for Covanta said:

“Covanta energy has decided to withdraw its application for the Brig y Cwm project in Merthyr Tydfil.”

According to the energy firm’s website, the £400million waste-to-energy site would have processed around 750,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste to produce 67 megawatts of electricity a year.

Plans for the massive Brig y Cwm plant had proved hugely controversial with many nearby residents campaigning against the proposals. Concerns about the environmental and health impact of burning so much waste were raised.

Covanta’s decision to scrap the incinerator scheme has been welcomed by local politicians and charity Friends of the Earth.

The scheme was one of four residual waste (non-recyclable waste) schemes short-listed by Prosiect Gwyrdd – a partnership between, Caerphilly Borough County CouncilThe County Council of the City and County of CardiffMonmouthshire County CouncilNewport Council and Vale of Glamorgan Council.

Of the four schemes originally short-listed Covanta is the second to pull out.

The two remaining proposals include plans for a merchant energy from waste with combined heat and power facility, provided by Viridor Waste Management Ltd in Cardiff, and an energy recovery facility at Bowlease Common, near the Corus Llanwern Steelworks, provided by Veolia ES Aurora Ltd.

In a statement Covanta said that a “fragmented approach” to dealing with residual waste by local authorities made the scheme unviable:

“We were looking to provide a national solution for much of the waste in Wales which is currently going to landfill. This would have provided a low disposal cost, low carbon and highly efficient solution.

“After a long search we wanted to place our multi-million pound inward investment at Merthyr Tydfil which is one of the most depressed towns in Wales. It would have been transformed by this level of investment.

“However, the local authorities have adopted a fragmented approach (not a national approach) to dealing with residual waste. This makes the plant unviable. We have therefore decided to terminate the planning process and concentrate on our other UK projects.”


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4 thoughts on “Covanta withdraw application to build £400m Brig y Cwm biomass plant

  1. Covanta withdrawn from Brig y Cwm.

    Absolutely brilliant news. A VICTORY FOR COMMON SENSE!!

    Posted by Maria Harris | October 24, 2011, 12:39 pm
  2. this is great news

    Posted by gemma | October 24, 2011, 1:14 pm
  3. Congratulations to all the Merthyr campaigners! We can win against incineration everywhere — not just Merthyr but in Cardiff, Newport and Deeside too.

    –Edmund Schluessel, Secretary, Cardiff Against The Incinerator

    Posted by Edmund Schluessel | October 24, 2011, 1:40 pm
  4. This is terrible news for Wales.
    Back to square one with the problem of waste (which isn’t going to go away no matter how much opposition to incinerators wish it)
    No investment in a town which desperately, desperately needs it.
    The valleys are their own worst enemies.

    Posted by Martin Dawes | October 24, 2011, 2:39 pm

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