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Leeds approves two energy from waste plants to create 600 jobs

Two muti-million pound energy from waste plants expected to create more than 600 construction jobs have been given the green light by Leeds City Council.

Veolia Enviromental Services will build a recycling and energy recovery facility on the Cross Green Industrial Estate under its 25-year, £460 million PFI contract with the city council, which was signed in November 2012.

Planning councillors also approved a plan for Biffa to build a facility to deal with commercial and industrial waste on the site of the former Skelton Grange Power Station, where the investment value is between £200m and £300m.

Construction work is set to begin on the Veolia household combined heat and power waste incinerator this year. It is anticipated the scheme would be finished and ready to start processing waste in 2016.

More than 300 jobs will be created during the construction of the facility, directly employed by Veolia’s contractor and via suppliers and using UK labour.

The report to the council says a significant element of capital spend would go to overseas suppliers as there were relatively few suppliers with the necessary technology, and none in the UK.

It is estimated the programme will save Leeds council around £200m over the term of its contract, compared with the cost of landfilling its residual municipal waste.

It is anticipated that Biffa’s Skelton Grange facility will also create around 300 construction jobs.

Biffa had aso been chasing the household waste facility, but the council opted for Veolia. The report adds that the council had to move quickly and “it was not possible to rely on an application from Biffa which was yet to be submitted”.

Speaking on the Veolia project, councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for the environment, said: “This decision has been years in the making and the level of scrutiny provided by panel members demonstrates just how important the incinerator is to the city.

“Alongside other improvements to our waste services, this is a significant milestone in enabling us to recycle as much as we can.

“With the final discussions set to get underway, we’re confident the end result will be a facility that will allow us to realise our ambitions for a cleaner, greener Leeds.”​​​​

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