Organisation behind Hightown incinerator plan welcomes proposals for Belfast waste plant

Environmental news.
Environmental news.

Waste management organisation arc21 says it welcomes plans for the construction of a waste gasification facility in east Belfast.

Opponents of the arc21/Becon Consortium plan to build an Energy from Waste plant near Mallusk have claimed that the plans published recently by Full Circle Power and Bombardier negate the need for a £240m incinerator at Hightown Quarry.

Indeed, South Antrim MLA and Assembly Environment Committee Deputy Chair, Pam Cameron, said: “Clearly the proposed arc21 development is neither acceptable to the area’s residents, nor necessary, as permission has already been granted for the plant in Belfast. The Full Circle Power development at Bombardier has the capacity to deal with all the domestic and commercial waste we produce in Northern Ireland.”

But welcoming the Bombardier plans, a spokesman for arc21 - the waste management body for Newtownabbey and 10 other local council areas - commented: “arc21 is pleased that the sponsors of the proposed Bombardier Energy from Waste (EfW) facility agree that Northern Ireland has to move away from landfill and develop more sustainable solutions.

“There is scope for more than one Energy from Waste plant in the region to enable Northern Ireland to progress towards a situation similar to that in Switzerland, Germany and Holland which, according to the latest EU statistics, combine minimal landfill, high recycling levels and EfW technology.”

He added: “The specially-designed suite of self-contained facilities being proposed by arc21 have been developed, refined and finessed to meet the particular long-term needs of the arc21 councils which cover 54 per cent of Northern Ireland’s population. The development of these plans has been a comprehensive process which has been conducted within the due democratic and legislative framework, including liaison with various government departments.”

Meanwhile, the Becon Consortium has rubbished suggestions that one of the UK’s leading energy suppliers has withdrawn its interest in the Hightown project.

Becon, which this week highlighted the findings of a report by Cranfield University which concludes that Energy from Waste plants have “no significant effect” on local property prices, described the rumours of E.ON pulling out of the consortium as “not true”.