The multi-million pound plant, which is being built in Bexley on the south bank of the Thames, will burn an average of 585,000 tonnes of waste a year for 30 years.
Sheffield architects Race Cottam, which has a rapidly growing national reputation for the design and delivery of major waste and water projects, was appointed by Cory Environmental subsidiary Riverside Resource Recovery Ltd as architectural advisors for the final stages of the scheme.
Practice Director David Cottam said: “This plant will become London’s first river-served energy-from-waste plant and I am delighted to see work finally start on the scheme.
“We have already produced designs for similar multi-million pound plants in Berkshire and Hull, but the Belvedere project is one of the largest such contracts we have secured and I know the building will make an impressive addition to the Thames waterfront.”
The Belvedere site in the London Borough of Bexley is Cory Environmental’s single most significant development project.
When operational it will be an important strategic waste management facility, helping the capital to manage its own waste, keep more than 100,000 heavy goods vehicles off London’s congested roads each year and making a real contribution to London’s ability to meet its landfill diversion targets.
London currently landfills 73 per cent of its municipal solid waste and due to the lack of waste treatment facilities in the capital about 85 per cent of this is exported to the home counties and further afield.
At present Cory transports 15% of London’s residual waste down the Thames by tug and barge to its Mucking landfill site in Essex.
This waste will be used as a fuel to generate 66MW of electricity – sufficient to meet the needs of 66,000 homes. Using household waste in this way reduces the demands on fossil fuels being burnt to generate electricity.
The plant is scheduled for completion and operation by 2011. Swiss firm VonRoll Inova will manage the plant, which is being built by one of the UK’s largest construction businesses Costain.