Media release: Green light for Viridor’s £200m energy-from-waste hub

SCOTS recycling, renewable energy and resource efficiency company, Viridor, today confirmed its intention to proceed with plans for a £200m energy-from-waste facility at Oxwellmains, East Lothian, following the grant of planning permission by Scottish Ministers.

Says a spokesperson: “The proposal, part of an anticipated £800m Scottish investment in ‘next generation’ recycling and waste infrastructure by the company, will create a 300,000 tonne resource efficiency hub diverting non-recyclable waste from landfill, generating 17mw of heat for local use and 23mw of electricity – enough to power 39,000 homes.

“The application, originally lodged in May 2008, was refused by East Lothian Council in November 2009 despite officer recommendation for approval and SEPA confirming that the proposal was the ‘best practical environmental option for the waste stream’.”

Commenting, Colin Paterson, Scottish regional director for Viridor, said:

“The approval of plans for Scotland’s most advanced energy from waste facility is good news for sustainability in Scotland and marks a key milestone on the road to delivering the Scottish Government’s zero waste strategy.

“Zero waste won’t happen without a network of new ‘next generation’ green infrastructure on the ground and in addition to investing in the latest advanced recycling technologies, Viridor is committed to supporting the public and private sectors meet ambitious targets and avoid costly landfill levies through recovering renewable energy from the waste we can’t recycle.

“We’re pleased the inquiry reporter recognised SEPA’s view that ‘a need case for a plant on this scale has been made’ and that ‘the proposal is the best practical environmental option for the waste stream’. The economic case for the proposal was compelling and the community benefits significant.

“Located on long-established, rail linked waste management site, Viridor’s resource efficiency hub will work in tandem with enhanced recycling and make a significant contribution towards a smarter strategy for waste reduction, re-use, recycling and recovering energy from what remains.”

In relation to the development of the facility, Mr. Paterson added:

“Viridor is at the forefront of investment in Scottish zero waste infrastructure. Our commitment to the development of Oxwellmains is absolute, with corporate funding for the project in place. We look forward to beginning development of the hub and education facility in the New Year and to the injection our investment and employment will bring to the local area.”

Notes for editors:


  • Viridor’s £200m Energy from Waste proposal is in line with Scottish and UK Government strategies for waste reduction, re-use, enhanced recycling and recovering value from what remains.
  • It completes the sustainable waste management jigsaw, working in tandem with increased recycling and gaining value from waste that would until now have gone to landfill.
  • The proposal will rest in a sunken area of Viridor’s existing, long-established, rail-linked waste management facility and features a design in keeping with the surrounding environment which the inquiry reporter considered “is of an appropriate scale and character” [Appeal Decision Notice Point 47].
  • In addition to the £200m investment, the proposal will deliver up to 150 construction jobs and 47 skilled and professional posts, recruited locally.
  • The proposal will mean £10m each and every year for the East Lothian economy including £2m in salary for local families and £2m each year in rates – enough to recruit up to 95 new teachers.
  • In addition to capacity for generating 17mw of heat and 23mw of electricity for local use, the proposal offers a potential saving of over £165,000 each and every year by limiting taxpayer exposure to landfill levies.
  • The proposal will be corporately financed by Viridor and its parent company, Pennon.


      Part of the FTSE 250 Pennon Group, Viridor is recognised as one of Scotland’s leading recycling, renewable energy and resource efficiency partners, working with 96 per cent of Scottish local authorities and some of the biggest names in Scottish business such as Scottish Power, RBS, BAE Systems and Coca Cola Enterprises.

Operating the nation’s most advanced network of recycling and waste infrastructure, the company has £225m of planned investment in ‘next generation’ green infrastructure in the Scottish planning system and a further £575m of investment in the pipeline to turn Scottish policy into practice.

Viridor delivers the full range of recycling, energy recovery and waste management services including:

* Scotland’s most advanced Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) opened in 2009 by Cabinet Secretary Richard Lochhead MSP, for plastic, paper, card and cans.
* Scotland’s only dedicated Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) reprocessing facility.
* One of Scotland’s leading glass recycling facilities.
* Secure landfill disposal and waste to energy facilities in the East and West of Scotland.
* Wood recycling, special waste, construction waste and waste transfer facilities in the East and West of Scotland.
* Household waste recycling centres.
* Commercial recycling and waste collection fleets in the East and West of Scotland.

The company handles over eight million tonnes of material each year, recycling over one-and-a-half million tonnes and generating 84 megawatts of renewable energy.

All sites and services are operated under the company’s business management system incorporating ISO14001 (Environmental Management), ISO9001 (Quality Management) and OHSAS 18001 (Health and Safety) standards, and formally accredited by BSI. These are the highest recognised international standards, ensuring continuous improvement in these key areas and providing assurance to customers and communities alike.

MEDIA RELEASE posted by Viridor. You too can post media releases (aka press releases) on For more information, email here.

Contact: Martin Grey