The opening of a new £800 million waste management facility in Flintshire has been pushed back by one month.
Politicians were recently told work on the state-of-the-art Parc Adfer waste-to-energy plant would be completed this month, with the first waste delivery having been due to take place earlier this week.
However, a progress report due to go before leading councillors in the county shows the facility on Deeside Industrial Park will now start operating from June.
Construction has been ongoing for the last two years with 400 people currently working to make sure the plant is finished.
No explanation has been given for the delay, but the authority’s chief executive said it would still open within the timescale set out when the project started.
In the report, Colin Everett said it would provide a modern, safe and cost-effective way of dealing with non-recyclable waste for five of the six local authorities in north Wales.
He said: “The construction of Parc Adfer is now at an advanced stage with the facility scheduled to begin commissioning and accepting waste from the partner authorities in June 2019.
“Work has been underway within Flintshire as lead authority and the other partner authorities for some time to prepare for their residual waste to go to the Parc Adfer facility.
“This work includes preparations for financial and operational arrangements with Wheelabrator Technologies Inc and with the partner authorities, resourcing and staffing, haulage and operations.
“An application has been submitted to Welsh Government for capital funding for waste transfer stations as committed to under the inter authority agreement, which if successful would allow the funding set aside by all partner authorities to the returned to them.”
The facility will be run by US-based company Wheelabrator (WTI) and has resulted in the creation of 34 new jobs, ranging from plant management to operational, technical and administrative roles.
The only council not signed up to the scheme is Wrexham, which is locked into a Private Finance Initiative costing £15m-a-year.
Parc Adfer will be able to process up to 200,000 tonnes of waste per year, generating enough renewable energy to power more than 30,000 homes.
It is expected to reach full operational capacity towards the end of the year.
Concerns have previously been raised by residents in Deeside that the scheme will add to pollution in the area, but the report shows that extra tests will be carried out to monitor emissions.
Mr Everett added: “As a result of concerns raised during the procurement process in relation to emissions to air from Parc Adfer, specifically of PM2.5 particulates, a contractual option was included in the contract with WTI to carry out monitoring and reporting of PM2.5 particulates over and above the normal monitoring regime that WTI would have to do under their permit as issued by Natural Resources Wales.
“Recent changes to the monitoring and reporting regime means that from January 2020 operators of energy from waste facilities will be required to report specifically on emissions of PM2.5 as well as total particulate matter.
“In terms of the method and frequency of reporting of these emissions, as well as continuous monitoring of total particulate matter, specific extractive tests are required to be carried out and reported to include PM2.5 on a 6 monthly basis in the first year of operation, and annually after that.”
He said the costs of the additional tests came in at under £2700 each.
Members of Flintshire’s ruling cabinet will be asked to note the progress when they meet next week.
By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).
File image taken January 2019