Sittingbourne EfW incinerator refused

Kemsley K3 generating station

Wheelabrator Technologies wanted to increase capacity at its Kemsley K3 generating station facility in Sittingbourne and build a new waste-to-energy incinerator alongside.

As a nationally significant infrastructure project, it was up to the Planning Inspectorate and the secretary of state to decide.

On the basis of the Planning Inspectorate’s recommendations, the secretary of state for business, energy & industrial strategy has given development consent to the application relating to the existing Wheelabrator Kemsley generating station (K3) but not to the proposed Wheelabrator Kemsley North (WKN) waste to energy facility.

Wheelabrator Technologies can now go ahead and increase the gross output for K3 from 49.9MW to 75MW and the tonnage of waste put through it by a further 107,000 tonnes per year to a maximum of 657,000.

The K3 facility was completed by French engineering company CINIM last year after Clugston, its UK joint venture partner, went into administration.

Wheelabrator Kemsley North would have been a new single line waste-to-energy facility capable of generating up to 42 MW (gross) / 37 MW (net) of renewable baseload energy by burning up to 430,000 tons (390,000 tonnes) of non-recyclable waste each year.

With UK political sentiment having turned against waste incinerators, US parent company Wheelabrator Technologies Inc agreed a deal in December 2020 to sell Wheelabrator Technologies UK to an infrastructure fund managed by First Sentier Investors.

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