Covanta: Protos energy-from-waste project reaches financial close

By Covanta Holding Corp. | December 01, 2020

Covanta Holding Corp., Green Investment Group Limited and Biffa plc today announced financial close and the commencement of construction on the Protos Energy Recovery Facility (Protos ERF) in Cheshire, England. Covanta and GIG will each own 37.5 percent of the state-of-the-art Energy-from-Waste (EfW) facility, with Biffa, the primary waste supplier for the facility, owning the remaining 25 percent of the project.  

“Today's announcement marks our fourth Energy-from-Waste project in the U.K. with GIG and our second with Biffa, all within the last two years, and demonstrates our sustained progress in executing on our strategic plans to grow in this important market,” said Covanta President and CEO Michael W. Ranger.   

Edward Northam, head of GIG in Europe, said, “We are delighted to have reached this agreement on our fourth project with Covanta. This is another major step forward in our mutual goal to transform two million tonnes of residual waste a year into heat and power. In addition, the project has given us another opportunity to work closely with Biffa to reduce waste going to landfill.” 

Michael Topham, Biffa’s chief executive commented, “We are pleased to have reached this important milestone together with our partners and to be taking another step towards improving the U.K.’s waste infrastructure and creating a low-carbon and resource-efficient economy. This project demonstrates our commitment to helping the U.K. to build the recycling and energy-from-waste infrastructure it needs to reduce its reliance on unnecessary export or landfill of valuable resources.” 

The facility will use proven technology to provide up to 400,000 metric tons of annual treatment capacity for non-recyclable waste, further enabling the U.K. to achieve national self-sufficiency in managing waste and compliance with landfill diversion targets. 

Located near Ellesmere Port in Cheshire, the Protos ERF will be built within Peel L&P Environmental’s Protos energy and resource hub, a site that clusters together innovative technologies and connects energy-intensive operations with sources of low-carbon energy. The facility will be capable of generating 49 megawatts, enough low-carbon electricity to power around 90,000 homes.  

Construction of the facility will be led by a joint venture between Mytilineos S.A. and Standardkessel Baumgarte GmbH, both of whom have a long and successful track record of delivering infrastructure projects in the United Kingdom and around the world. The project is expected to provide significant economic opportunities to the local and regional area, both during its three-year construction phase and upon its completion. 

Like the Newhurst project before it, the Protos project consortium combines world-leading expertise in EfW operation and development, green infrastructure investment, and waste management and collection. Covanta will supply technical oversight during construction and operate the facility for an initial 20-year term, with Biffa providing the majority of the waste supply through a long-term agreement and using the facility as a vital outlet for non-recyclable waste.