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About Powerfuel PortlandAbout Powerfuel Portland

Powerfuel Portland is a local company with an office in Dorset, whose Directors have extensive experience of delivering large-scale renewable energy facilities. 

The proposed Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) will have the capacity to process up to 202,000 tonnes of Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) per year, providing a practical solution to our significant waste problem.

RDF consists largely of combustible components of municipal solid waste comprising household, commercial and skip waste after recyclable materials such as glass, plastics and metals have been removed. The ERF will not treat hazardous or clinical waste. The bottom ash can be recycled and used as aggregate in infrastructure projects.

The ERF will be one of a new generation of energy from waste facilities, which will use the latest technologies and best available techniques to safely and efficiently produce low carbon energy from non-recyclable waste.

As the site is at the Port, the RDF can arrive either by road or sea. Deliveries by sea will be wrapped and baled, while road deliveries will be either baled or in sealed vehicles. 

Once inside the facility, the fuel will be de-baled (if required), shredded and screened before being used for combustion. The RDF will pass over a grate producing heat in a boiler to generate superheated steam, which will generate electricity in a steam turbine. Around 15MW of power will be exported to the National Grid or used locally. 

The ERF could also feature a local heat network to provide cheaper and more environmentally sustainable heat for local services, businesses and housing projects. Direct power supplies to major consumers could also be made available; for example, the Port would like to provide "shore power" for visiting ships. 

Modern ERFs are strictly monitored by the Environment Agency and must comply with all applicable legislation including the control of emissions. A large proportion of the plant is devoted to cleaning emissions. 

ERFs can only operate with an Environmental Permit from the Environment Agency (EA) under the Pollution Prevention and Control regulations and operators must monitor and report emissions from the plant. 

The EA inspects facilities regularly and tightly enforces regulations. Importantly, in October 2019 Public Health England reiterated its previously published view that ‘well run and regulated modern municipal waste incinerators are not a significant risk to public health’. 

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Benefits of Powerfuel Portland

The ERF will provide a solution to Dorset’s current waste issue, meaning that Dorset will be able to treat its waste locally rather than having to export it, in line with the ‘proximity principle’. The principle works to minimise the environmental impact and cost of waste transport.  

Rather than landfilling the waste, it will be used as a fuel to generate around 15MW of renewable energy. Heat will also be available for local services, business and housing projects.   

The entire Isle of Portland is served solely by an 18MW Grid supply. This means that power is constricted on the island, which has proved to be a barrier to economic growth.  

The electricity generated by the ERF will help counter this issue and enable Portland and its port to attract new businesses with the prospect of providing low carbon heat and power. 

Providing Shore Power to ships coming into Portland Port will keep the Port competitive and reduce emissions from ships. The ERF will be CHP enabled. Feasibility studies have demonstrated that there is a demand for a District Heat Network, to use the heat from the ERF for heating purposes at sites on the Island, reducing the need to use fossil fuels.

The project will provide around 300 jobs during construction and around 30 full time, permanent jobs when the facility is operating. 60 indirect jobs will also be created. Powerfuel is keen to maximise employment opportunities for local people wherever possible and there will be a mix of skilled and semi-skilled jobs on offer, along with apprenticeship opportunities.

Once the ERF is operating, in addition to paying local taxes, there will be community benefit contributions allocated to local sustainability projects.