Plans submitted for £200m energy recovery facility

International infrastructure firm Miller Turner has submitted a planning application to Lancashire County Council seeking permission to construct and operate a £200m energy recovery facility near Preston.

The Longridge Road Energy Centre would be built on designated development land on the Red Scar Industrial Estate, just off junction 31A of the M6 motorway.

LREC will create 40 permanent jobs for the operation and maintenance of the plant as well as up to 500 jobs during the construction phase. Apprenticeships will also be offered.

Once operating, the facility would have the capacity to export 42MW of sustainable, low carbon electricity from up to 395,000 tonnes per year of residual waste left over from household and commercial waste after recyclable material is removed. The new facility will generate enough power to supply the equivalent of up to 108,000 homes.

The plant will have the potential to provide electricity via ‘private wire’ directly to commercial and industrial customers.

By supplying electricity directly to the customer, power can be provided securely and at lower cost, therefore improving the competitiveness of connected businesses and helping to create or sustain hundreds of jobs and attract new investment to the area.

Any surplus energy not sold directly to commercial customers will be distributed via the public electricity grid.

Currently, Lancashire buries most of its residual waste in landfill sites – a relatively high proportion compared to many other areas. By diverting residual waste from landfill and using it to generate electricity, LREC contributes significantly to the region’s ability to find practical ways to address climate change by saving the equivalent of 77,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

LREC has the potential to significantly reduce landfill, carbon and methane emissions and create and protect hundreds of jobs.

Gregory Ewing, chief executive officer for Miller Turner, said: “Our team has extensive experience of delivering sustainable energy projects like Longridge Road Energy Centre in the UK. It will use well-proven, modern, efficient technology which is currently in operation at numerous energy recovery facilities across the UK and Europe. The plant will operate under a strict licensing system administered by the Environment Agency.

“We have been careful to ensure our proposals address any questions raised in the consultation and we have updated the website continuously as our proposals have been developed. Furthermore, in support of our local community we are proposing a community fund of £65,000 a year to help support local initiatives and projects.

“LREC has the potential to significantly reduce landfill, carbon and methane emissions and create and protect hundreds of jobs. The location of the site offers significant opportunities for local businesses to benefit from the low cost, sustainable energy LREC will recover. We are pleased to be submitting our application and look forward to progressing this important project.”