Millerhill Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility Enters Full Operation

The Millerhill Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility (RERC), located in Millerhill, Midlothian, has now entered full operation, ahead of programme.

The new state-of-the-art energy from waste plant, which will serve the City of Edinburgh and Midlothian, commenced construction in October 2016 and has been receiving residual waste since October 2018 for commissioning purposes. 

A further significant milestone was achieved in December 2018 with the generation of energy from the plant’s 13 MW turbine commencing.

The Millerhill RERC was developed jointly by City of Edinburgh and Midlothian Councils, in partnership with operator FCC Environment (UK), who signed a 25-year contract to deliver and operate the £142m plant in October 2016, with the Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) role delivered through a joint venture between FCC Medio Ambiente SA and Hitachi Zosen Inova (HZI).

The plant is constructed on a brownfield site, which is now barely recognisable as the former Millerhill Marshalling Yard. 

It will treat around 135,000 tonnes of household residual waste and a further 20,000 tonnes of household and commercial waste every year. It will generate sufficient electricity to satisfy the energy demands of up to approximately 32,000 households. In conjunction with the Partner Councils, district heating proposals are being developed to take full advantage of the benefits arising from the energy-from-waste process.

Councillor Lesley Macinnes, Transport and Environment Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “It’s very welcome news that this excellent new facility is entering full operation ahead of schedule.  By working together, both Edinburgh and Midlothian Councils will be able to benefit from this state-of-the-art thermal treatment solution for our residual waste.

“As a Council, we are fully committed to cutting the amount of waste that ends up as landfill. This new facility will be key to our efforts, while also providing a long-term solution for the recovery of value from the residual waste.”

Midlothian Council’s spokesperson said: “I am delighted to see this partnership project coming to fruition and generating green energy ahead of schedule. The plant will be a huge asset, helping both councils meet Zero Waste targets and diverting an astonishing 155,000 tonnes of waste from landfill.”

A separate facility, which takes all of the food waste collected by the partner councils, is already in operation on the neighbouring site to the RERC. It is hoped these new facilities to treat both food and non-recyclable waste, creating renewable energy in the process, will help both authorities contribute to the national recycling target of 70% by 2025 and the national landfill diversion target of 95% by 2025.

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