Covanta, Biffa and GIG form joint venture

Covanta, Biffa and GIG form joint venture

The England WTE facility marks Covanta’s third project with Green Investment Group and first project with Biffa.

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February 11, 2020

Joint venture partners Covanta Holding Corp., New Jersey, Biffa, United Kingdom, and Macquarie’s Green Investment Group (GIG), U.K., have announced that the Newhurst waste-to-energy (WTE) facility in Leicestershire, England, has reached financial close. Covanta and GIG will together own 50 percent of the state-of-the-art facility, with Biffa, the primary waste supplier for the facility, owning the remaining half of the project. Covanta will operate the facility under a long-term operations and maintenance agreement, according to a news release.

"The Newhurst WTE facility will provide important sustainable waste treatment capacity in the drive to move nonrecyclable waste away from landfill and combat climate change,” says Covanta CEO and President Stephen Jones. “Today’s announcement marks our third of four initial development projects to reach financial close with Green Investment Group and our first project with Biffa. Together, we have created a powerful partnership that will provide meaningful returns in our pursuit to protect tomorrow.”

Michael Topham, CEO of Biffa, adds, “Biffa has a leading role to play in developing the recycling and energy from waste facilities that the U.K. needs if it is to become a low-carbon, resource-efficient economy. Reaching this milestone at the Newhurst facility, along with our ambitious investments in recycling, are vital steps in the delivery of our strategic investment plans.”

The companies say the Newhurst facility is a significant addition to the U.K.’s waste management infrastructure. It supports the government’s drive to both reduce reliance on landfill and the U.K.’s ability to treat more “nonrecyclable waste” without relying on export to European facilities. The facility will use technology to treat up to 350,000 metric tons of waste annually and generate up to 42 megawatts of electricity, which is enough to power around 80,000 homes.

“To increase resource efficiency, we need the right infrastructure. Together, GIG and Covanta are developing a pipeline of projects that will form the backbone of the U.K.’s next-generation waste management system,” says Edward Northam, head of GIG Europe. “Our ongoing partnership with Covanta is helping the U.K. reduce reliance on landfill, creating a cleaner, greener environment for all. The Newhurst facility is an exciting new addition to that partnership and our first project investing alongside Biffa.”

Construction of the facility is expected to take approximately 39 months to complete and will be led by Hitachi Zosen Innova. The project combines Biffa’s expertise and scale in waste management and control of significant feedstocks with Covanta and GIG’s operational and development experience in WTE.

Biffa will provide 70 percent of the fuel for the facility from its existing local waste collection services, and Covanta will supply technical oversight during construction in addition to operations and maintenance of the facility for an initial 20-year term.