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Wales ex-captain's energy plan.

Byline: By Sion Barry Western Mail

Plans for a pounds 150m scheme to turn 500,000 tonnes of household waste in South Wales into energy, have been unveiled.

Property developer PMG Estates, owned by Paul Guy and former Wales rugby captain Mike Hall, wants to open a state-of-the-art waste management facility at its Trident Park site in Cardiff Bay.

PMG and Viridor Waste Management are drawing up detailed plans for the project but Friends of Earth Cymru have raised concerns.

If it is agreed by Cardiff County Council the scheme will burn non- recyclable household rubbish which is currently sent to landfill.

The proposed scheme would have to comply with the strict licensing requirements of the Environment Agency.

Cardiff Council, along with a number of other authorities in South Wales, are currently looking at technology solutions as an alternative to sending waste to landfill. The cost of landfill is rising, with European legislation requiring local authorities to find alternatives or face significant financial penalties.

By recovering energy from household waste, the proposed Trident Park facility would provide a substantial amount of electricity to the city, PMG said.

The business park itself could benefit by getting heat and power directly from the proposed plant. This would be a significant contribution towards it becoming the first fully sustainable business site in Wales.

The 50-acre park had a blast furnace before the closure of Japanese television glassmaker NEG last year. As a result it already has an Integrated Pollution Prevention Control Licence, which any new waste management plant would require.

Viridor Waste Management is a leading provider of waste and recycling services in the UK with decades of experience and has been one of the fastest growing companies in the waste sector over recent years.

Mr Guy said, "This scheme represents a fantastic opportunity for Cardiff to lead the way in waste management and would contribute significantly to the aspiration of achieving sustainable waste management and energy generation. Cardiff's waste challenges could be met via a modern, well-engineered facility which provides an alternative to landfill, and this can only be a good thing."

However, director of Friends of Earth Cymru, Julian Rosser, raised concerns over the project.

He said, "Waste-to-energy operators never use the word incinerator, as that is a very emotional word, but that's what they are.

"Our concern is that these plants might be state-of-the-art but there is always some pollution.

"We don't believe that waste-to-energy plants are the best way to deal with waste. Councils might not have an incentive to recycle more, if household waste is dealt with in this way.

"We are looking at maximising levels of recycling and composting. Wales has moved from being the worst recycler in Europe, but more needs to be done. In Flanders 70% of waste is recycled compared to only 25% here."

Dan Cooke, external affairs manager for Viridor, added, "We are delighted to have been chosen by PMG as its preferred partner to take this exciting scheme forward and appreciate how important this project could prove to be for the city of Cardiff.

"This site could greatly assist Cardiff in meeting the significant challenges involved in moving to more sustainable methods of managing waste as a resource and recovering value while continuing to maximise recycling levels.

"We are looking forward to having detailed discussions in the near future with key stakeholders to take the proposals forward."

Viridor Waste Management is owned by parent company Pennon Group, one of the top 250 companies in the UK. It currently services 31 local authority waste management contracts and private sector customers and operates 189 waste facilities across the UK.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 11, 2007
Words:605
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