Pinsent Masons advises Peterborough Council on £200m Energy from Waste Project

11 Feb 2013 | 10:42 am | 2 min. read

Waste deal highlights increasing significance of a diverse energy mix in the UK

International law firm Pinsent Masons has advised Peterborough City Council on the completion of their £200m Residual Waste Energy-from-Waste (EfW) Project with Viridor, one of the UK’s leading recycling, renewable energy and waste management companies. 

The Project required the development of an EfW facility at the Council’s existing recycling site in the Fengate industrial area.  Viridor secured planning permission for the facility in January 2013, following an almost unanimous planning decision, and construction is expected to commence in May 2013.  The facility will have the capacity to process up to 85,000 tonnes of residual waste per annum and is designed to achieve around 94% landfill diversion which will have a net electrical power generation capacity of 7.25MW.

Simon Mumford, partner at Pinsent Masons Projects team, said: "This is another great example of how our firm can advise councils around the UK on generating energy from waste. We have built expertise and experience in this space and see energy from waste as an increasingly important strand of the overall energy mix for the UK." 

The project required capital investment of approximately £75 million and the plant will be built by a joint-venture between Babcock & Wilcox Volund and Interserve Construction, as the engineering and procurement contractor to Viridor, who then will operate the facility for 30 years.

Significantly, the Project will be funded by the Council entirely through public funds (reserves generated through savings and prudential borrowing from the Public Loans Board).  This is the second residual waste project to be funded through prudential borrowing that Pinsent Masons have advised on, following Lincolnshire Council’s residual waste project, and confirms Pinsent Masons position as one of the market's leading firms in alternative financing models.

Richard Pearn, Waste Client Manager for Peterborough City Council, said: "The Energy from Waste procurement is a vital part of the Council’s strategy for increasing recycling and diverting waste away from environmentally unsustainable landfill disposal. Pinsent Masons' team were professional in their role and attention to detail and offered considerable added value based on their previous experience of similar procurements."

The Project has been structured to transfer ownership and off-take responsibility for all electricity generated by the facility to the Council's Blue Sky Energy Services Company (ESCo). The ESCo shall manage a portfolio of energy generation projects, including wind and solar, as an alternative to the Green Deal and shall help the Council in its ambition to become the UK's ‘Environmental Capital’.

Pinsent Masons team was led by Didar Dhillon, Senior Associate. He said: "We are delighted to have contributed a sustainable value for money solution for Peterborough.  The Council's innovative approach towards generating income through investment in energy should be applauded and will no doubt provide a template for other local authorities who are faced with crippling cuts to budgets." 

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