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More woe for waste energy as government delays decision on Nottinghamshire plant

The proposed plant at Bilsthorpe.

US developer Air Products’ recent decision to scrap plans for its energy-from-waste plants on Teesside have led the government to delay a decision on a similar plant in Nottinghamshire.

The Department for Communities and Local Government has delayed its decision on Peel Environmental’s Bilsthorpe Energy Centre, amid concerns that its 95,000-tonnes-a-year plasma gasification plant uses similar technology to Air Products’ Tees Valley facilities, which were scrapped earlier this month.

The DCLG has now invited stakeholders to comment on whether Air Products’ withdrawal could have any implications for the Nottinghamshire site, prior to communities secretary Greg Clark making a “fully informed” decision.

Clark said that the delay “should not be read as any indication as to his attitude to the appeal proposal” and added: “It has very recently been drawn to [my] attention that Air Products announced on 4 April that it is exiting from its EfW business as it has failed to overcome the technological difficulties, and has abandoned its Tees Valley plasma and gasification plants. 

“In view of this announcement by Air Products, and the fact that it was not disputed at the inquiry that the Bilsthorpe Energy Centre would use the same technology, the secretary of state considers it appropriate to give the parties to the Bilsthorpe case an opportunity to comment on any implications which the reasons leading to this announcement might have for the Bilsthorpe scheme as currently proposed.”

Stakeholders have until 26 April to make comments and Clark plans to make a decision soon after that.

Air Products announced its decision to exit the energy from waste sector 4 April when it scrapped its plans to build two plants on Teesside blaming technical problems and rising costs. Scrapping the plants is believed to have lost the company £770m.