Refuse Derived Fuel

Changes in regulations and associated escalating costs meant that finding a new approach to municipal waste management had become a priority matter - particularly for non-recyclable waste. Pembroke Port helped deliver the solution.

Pembroke Port became home to an innovative new waste management facility in 2015.

Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion County Councils are responsible for the safe disposal of thousands of tonnes of waste a year. Changes in regulations and associated escalating costs meant that finding a new approach to waste management had become a priority matter. Of particular concern was the management of non-recyclable waste.

Sweden offered an innovative solution at Mälarenergi power station where this waste is converted into electricity and heating. This ultra-efficient site recoups more energy than UK based sites and, with Pembrokeshire’s accessibility to sea routes, this stood out as the most efficient option for the Councils’ non-recyclable waste delivering anticipated savings of around £350,000 a year.

The Port of Milford Haven became involved early in the project development due to the suitability of the Pembroke Port site with its deep water quay, suitable premises for processing and laydown spaces, together with experience in handling cargo and working with the renewables industry. It presented a cost effective way to ensure the project could be realised. Representatives from across the Port worked with Pembrokeshire County Council, their consultants (Eunomia Research & Consulting) and the eventual contractors (Potter Group) to find the most appropriate base, trial bale handling and identify and solve other logistical issues.

Processing began in May 2015 with four shipments during the year. Early teething problems were identified with food waste now being removed from the bales. A close working relationship between all parties has meant that further operational efficiencies have been identified and implemented. Nearly 10,000 bales have since been shipped.

The project delivers rental and over the quay income for the Port as well as supporting jobs and regional economic development.

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