Mayor of West Yorkshire visits enfinium's multi-million-pound energy from waste hub in Leeds
Tracy Brabin, the Mayor of West Yorkshire, visited enfinium Skelton Grange earlier this week, the new energy from waste hub currently under construction in Leeds.
The visit provided the Mayor with an opportunity to learn more about the vital role the facility will play when it opens in 2025, producing reliable homegrown energy from non-recyclable waste, boosting the Yorkshire economy and creating high-quality green jobs.
enfinium is one of the largest energy from waste operators in the UK, with two of its four operational facilities located at Ferrybridge in Yorkshire and a third £500m investment plan currently under construction at Skelton Grange.
Energy from waste is recognised as providing the most sustainable solution for managing waste that can't be reduced or recycled. It also reduces the need to export waste overseas, allows the recycling of metals, cuts greenhouse gas emissions and produces reliable, dispatchable power to the electricity system instead of fossil fuel plant. Responsible resource management is a key focus of the Authority's West Yorkshire Climate and Environment Plan.
During the visit, the Mayor heard how the project will create over 400 jobs during its construction phase and over 45 high-quality, full-time roles when it enters operations. The Mayor was encouraged to hear that nearly 200 jobs created so far have already been awarded to local contractors living within a 40 mile radius of the site.
Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said: "It was a pleasure to visit this new waste to energy hub construction site in Leeds this week.
"It was encouraging to hear how many green jobs this will create for West Yorkshire and how it will boost the region's economy – helping us to attract and retain skilled workers.
"This project is already proving how the West Yorkshire region is taking a lead in the development of green infrastructure, which is vital to meeting our climate ambitions."
Mike Maudsley, Chief Executive Officer at enfinium, said: "As a business that already employs more than 100 people in Yorkshire, and plans to recruit many more, we were pleased to have the opportunity to highlight to the Mayor the role our Skelton Grange facility can play in supporting a green economy and delivering on the Authority's environmental agenda. Modern energy from waste facilities can produce homegrown dispatchable power, support high-quality jobs in the green economy, and unlock new decarbonisation opportunities such as heat networks, negative emissions and low carbon hydrogen for transportation, industrial use and heating."
The Mayor enjoyed a tour of the construction site, finding out how the new facility will benefit the local community and boost the local economy – as well as identifying how it can play an instrumental role in helping the West Yorkshire Combined Authority achieve its ambitious zero carbon targets.
During the visit, the enfinium project team explained to the Mayor how the £500m facility due to be commissioned in 2025 will divert 410,000 tonnes of residual waste from landfill and use it instead to generate 49MW (gross) of low carbon baseload electricity each year. This is enough homegrown energy to power more than 100,000 UK homes and businesses.
The team also discussed the enfinium Skelton Grange Community Benefit Fund – totalling £50,000 available to local groups and organisations during the construction phase – and the significant reinforcement and improvement works that enfinium has completed on the Skelton Grange Road Bridge. This investment has both improved vehicular access to the site as well as enhancing access for cyclists using the towpath adjacent to the Aire and Calder Canal. Upgrading this key piece of roads infrastructure is likely to play a facilitative role in the ongoing development of the site by owners Harworth Group.