Following a public exhibition held before Christmas, Powerfuel Portland has been developing its planning application for an energy recovery facility at Portland Port, ready to submit to Dorset Council.
A key issue raised at the event and in further consultation was over transport to the facility and the increase in traffic on the Island’s roads.
Giles Frampton, Director Powerfuel Portland, said: “The feedback from the public exhibition was extremely useful for us to identify the issues that members of the public had concerns over and where we need to provide more information to assuage those concerns.
“As part of our planning application we need to model impacts based on the worst-case scenario for our Transport Assessment. The site at Portland Port has a great advantage in that Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) can be delivered by both road and sea. For planning purposes, we have to work on the worst-case scenario of 100% of the RDF being delivered to the site by road, which would result in a maximum additional 40 lorries into the Port (80 vehicle movements).
“The most up-to-date data from the Department for Transport, shows that Portland Beach Road has a daily 2-way traffic flow of 17,500 vehicles. At most the Energy Recovery Facility is expected to generate an additional upper estimate of 80 vehicle movements per day which therefore forms only 0.4% of daily traffic flow, a very marginal impact. This is a worst-case scenario, and likely to be smaller. In addition, we will be submitting a travel plan to agree set routes and timings to further reduce the impact, especially during peak hours.
“We are certainly not dismissing the concerns raised, but it is useful to put these figures into context. It is also worth remembering that these will not be ‘new’ vehicle movements – the RDF is already being moved by road, usually much further afield, so the number of overall movements will be the same, but by having a local solution the overall length of HGV movements will be significantly shortened, thus producing fewer emissions.”
If successful, Powerfuel’s proposal will result in a £100 million+ investment on Portland. It will provide a sustainable, local solution to managing waste arisings, which continue to rise despite the increase in recycling.
Giles Frampton continued: “Rather than simply landfilling the residual waste (after recycling has been removed) or exporting it long distance for use as fuel (as currently), Powerfuel Portland will generate low carbon and partially renewable energy from processing the waste, alleviating the need to use fossil fuels. The facility will be able to provide local heat and power which will deliver a great economic boost to Portland Port and enable it to improve its offering and expand its business. The £100+ million investment will also inject significant sums into the local economy, create 350 new jobs during construction and 30+ permanent long-term jobs when operating, along with up to 45 indirect jobs.”
Powerfuel Portland is scoping the requirements of the planning application, including Transport Assessment, and anticipate submitting it to Dorset Council later in the Spring.