Commissioning of phase one of Viridor’s 70 MW of the Runcorn waste to energy facility has begun prior to its planned opening early this year.

The company explained that once fully operational the facility will be able to process up to 850,000 tonnes of pre-treated waste – Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) each year.

It will be capable of generating up to 70MW of electricity and up to 51 MW of heat, all of which will be used by neighbouring chemicals manufacturer INEOS.

The combined heat and power supplied by the waste to energy facility will account for around 20% of the total energy needs of the INEOS facility, which is expected to significantly cut its energy bills.

During the testing phase a number of one-off events will occur, which Viridor – a part of the Pennon Group (LSE: PNN) – said its neighbours may see or hear.  As such has sent its first community newsletter to 1400 households near to the facility informing local residents of what to expect.

Construction of the facility began in 2010 and is being delivered in two phases. Construction of phase one is nearing completion, with this phase due to start operating in early 2014.

Phase two will be complete by early 2015 and start operating later that same year.

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