Mersey energy saver

Renewable energy group, New Earth Energy, has teamed up with Biossence, the UK division of environmental investors, Network Economy, to create Mersey Green Solution.

Renewable energy group, New Earth Energy (NEE), has teamed up with Biossence, the UK division of environmental investors, Network Economy, to create Mersey Green Solution.

Funded through individual investors, the venture is hoped to finance and develop projects that will recover energy from commercial, industrial and public waste.

The first project will be a Merseyside gasification-pyrolysis system which intends to generate approximately 40MW of energy from waste products.

Chris Cox, managing director of New Earth Energy, said: ‘We’re looking to decouple the development of waste and renewable energy infrastructure from local authority procurement and bank lending.

‘This will give us an exciting head-start in the market place so that we can have merchant facilities up and running to receive waste from the private and public sectors next year.

‘Our phased development will allow debt and financial gearing of the projects to be introduced later, once the facilities are established. At a time when the Private Finance Initiative is stalling in the waste sector, Mersey Green Solution provides excellent opportunities for the experienced investor.’

Dr Raif Trottnow, director of Biossence, said: ‘In the UK, the attractive Renewables Obligation regime, tough recycling and landfill diversion targets, and the relentless rise in landfill costs are creating a great business environment for us.

‘We’ve observed many projects in Europe that have failed because the interfaces between waste handling and the creation of a fuel and its thermal conversion into heat and power have not been understood or properly linked up.

‘Combining forces with New Earth has meant we can overcome this.

‘The partnership has massive potential.’

Mersey Green Solutions intends to set up and operate two waste facilities in Wirral and Widnes by 2010.

Once completed, the facilities will be capable of handling 600,000 tonnes of waste per year.

The energy recovery process will take place at HootonPark on the Wirral, which has received planning consent to process around 400,000 tonnes of waste per year.

This will be enough to create 40MW of renewable energy that can be used by local industries.

The second site, on the Widnes waterfront, will be used as a composting, biological treatment and solid recovered fuel (SRF) preparation facility.

According to the company, this will be able to handle up to 200,000 tonnes of waste per year.

Subject to approval, construction will begin later this year and is expected to help the region meet its renewable energy targets.

Customers are expected to include transfer station operators, major producers of organic wastes, local authorities, contractors and private- sector companies.