Buckinghamshire’s new EfW facility has taken a step forward as major milestone is reached

15 Jul 2016 15:09

FCC Environment, one of the UK’s leading waste and resource management companies, and Buckinghamshire County Council opened the doors to the Greatmoor energy from waste (EfW) facility near Aylesbury to the press yesterday (14th July), showcasing the development and explaining the benefits it will deliver now that the building in nearing completion.

Construction of the new EfW facility, designed and built by Hitachi Zosen INOVA (HZI) and funded through an innovative use of construction-only finance and prudential borrowing began in September 2013. The site is fully operational  employing 46 full time, permanent operatives generating up to £2.3m for the local Aylesbury Vale economy per year.

The Council's Cabinet Member for Planning & Environment Warren Whyte said: “I am delighted to be here today to mark this major milestone in the commissioning of a facility that will see the way we dispose of waste in Buckinghamshire change for the better. Our residents already work hard to reduce waste and recycle what they can but this plant will allow us to harness green energy from what is left.”

Paul Taylor, FCC Environment Chief Executive, said: “Greatmoor EfW will convert Buckinghamshire’s household and business waste, the materialthat cannot otherwise be recycled, into renewable energy. This will reduce the county’s dependence on landfill disposal.  The contract will run for 30 years bringing significant sustainability and economic benefits to Buckinghamshire.

“The new facility will treat up to 300,000 tonnes of residual waste each year and will generate 22MW of electricity – this is equivalent to the electricity needs required to power up to 36,000 homes.  The facility will be the primary disposal point for all of Buckinghamshire’s local authority waste.  Aylesbury Vale District Council and some of the County’s Household Waste Centres will deliver waste directly to the facility, with the three southern districts councils (South Bucks, Chiltern and Wycombe) and the rest of the HWRCs using a Waste Transfer Station at High Heavens near Wycombe.  The Waste Transfer Station, which has also been constructed as part of the contract between FCC and Buckinghamshire County Council, is used to bulk waste into articulated lorries for onward transport to the EFW facility.  

“The construction of Greatmoor EfW marks an important step forward for FCC Environment as the business continues to develop, focusing on its customers’ requirements for extracting value, in the form of energy, from the waste left over after recycling has taken place. Greatmoor EfW represents an integrated service that the county can be proud of.”

Buckinghamshire County Council named FCC Environment as its preferred bidder for the residual waste treatment contract in 2011, and in 2012 the Development Control Committee granted the Greatmoor project planning permission and the Environment Agency issued the facility with its permit to operate. Buckinghamshire County Council’s cabinet awarded the 30 year contract on 23 July 2012. 

FCC Environment and Buckinghamshire County Council succesfully concluded contract negotiations in April 2013.

Key facts

Greatmoor EfW will:


  • Be fully operational by summer 2016
  • Reduce the level of waste traffic that previously travelled through villages including Edgcott, Grendon Underwood and  Calvert thanks to the construction of a new access road
  • Is supported by a Waste Transfer Station at High Heavens near High Wycombe where waste is tipped by the three southern district councils before being bulked into articulated lorries for onward haulage to the EFW facility.
  • Complement residents and businesses continued recycling and help divert waste from unsustainable landfill
    • EfW is a modern, safe way to treat and dispose of waste left over after recycling
  • Minimise waste vehicle movements by using waste from the south of the County, that has been bulked at transfer stations before being transported to the EfW plant
    • High Heavens transfer station opened in October 2015 and took first waste at the end of November of that year
    • The planning application for Amersham transfer station, was approved by the  Secretary of State in October and conditions agreed in January.  The Section 106 is currently under consideration. 
  • Treat up to 300,000 tonnes of residual waste per year
  • Generate 22MW of electricity: equivalent to the energy required to power 36,000 homes (the total population of Aylesbury and Buckingham combined)
  • Divert substantial amounts of waste from landfill
  • Save council tax payers more than £150 million over the life of the contract (30 years)
  • Generate up to £2.3 million for the local Aylesbury Vale economy per year
  • Generate approximately £3.1 million of economic benefit per year at County level.
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