Project Overview 

Covanta and Veolia are partnering to develop the Rookery South Energy Recovery Facility at Rookery South Pit, a former brick clay extraction pit, near Stewartby in Bedfordshire. The Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) will be capable of using municipal, commercial and non-hazardous industrial residual waste, left after recycling and composting efforts, as fuel to generate heat and electricity.

The ERF will convert over 500,000 tonnes of residual waste per year into over 60 MWe of low carbon energy - enough electricity to meet the needs of 75,000 homes.  There are also excellent opportunities to export surplus steam to support a local district heating system or additional economic development projects.

To achieve even greater environmental benefits, the ERF will recover valuable metals for recycling and secondary aggregate. Overall, the facility will recover value from approximately 96% of the waste it treats, helping to achieve recovery, recycling and renewable energy targets.

Energy-from-Waste is a well tried and tested technology and is the most sustainable alternative to landfilling residual waste. There are some 780 EfW plants around the world. Both Covanta and Veolia are market leaders in the Energy-from-Waste industry. Veolia’s waste capabilities and local presence and Covanta’s operating abilities create a unique partnership that will enable successful operation of the Rookery South ERF.  

In 2013, the facility received planning approval under the UK’s Development Consent Order procedures for the delivery of nationally important infrastructure.  The planning approvals process involved a comprehensive and wide-ranging requirement to consult local people and businesses, councils, environmental groups and statutory bodies about the proposal, providing just as much opportunity (if not more) than with a normal planning application. 

The Joint Committee report on the facility can be found here.

The Order granting development consent for the facility can be found by clicking here.

It is anticipated that construction will commence by late 2017 with the facility becoming operational in 2020.

Covanta and Veolia will be re-engaging the Rookery South Community Liaison Panel (CLP) which was originally established in 2008. The CLP plays a key role in the communications arrangements of the project, which have been put in place in order to ensure effective dialogue between Covanta, Veolia and the local community.  We value the views and opinions of our neighbours and look forward to building open and transparent relationships.