A WASTE management and energy recovery company has engaged in talks with Barry-based Dow Corning about providing a new ‘energy from waste’ (EfW) facility.

Waste Recycling Group (WRG) wants to build and operate an EfW plant with combined heat and power facility at the company’s Cardiff Road site, should it be the successful candidate out of four companies short-listed by Prosiect Gwyrdd (Project Green) to provide five local authorities - the Vale Council, Cardiff City Council, Caerphilly Borough Council, Newport Council and Monmouthshire County Council - with a solution to the long term management of its municipal waste while reducing reliance on landfill.

The company says it would create a number of jobs with significant numbers created during the construction period. The plant would produce renewable energy, reduce Dow Corning’s reliance on fossil fuels and help to secure a reliable, cost effective source of energy for the company’s silicone-based materials manufacturing facility.

The proposed new facility at Barry would treat residual household and non-hazardous commercial wastes and would generate steam and electricity to be used entirely by Dow Corning in Barry.

The company said it was committed to ensuring full public consultation with local residents, statutory bodies and other interested groups concerning the proposed plant both before and after submission of a full planning application.

FCC Projects director, John Plant said with new legislation forcing local authorities to reduce waste sent to landfill, it was vital to find viable alternatives.

"This combined heat and power plant would bring significant benefits for sustainability by producing renewable energy from waste left over after recycling, reducing dependence on climate-impacting fossil fuels and helping to secure UK energy supply," he said.

"We are pleased to be working with Dow Corning – a company that has long put the well-being of the local community at the heart of its successful and sustainable business."

Dow Corning site manager, Dave Ott said: "Ensuring that we have a secure, predictable and cost effective supply of energy is critical to the long-term success of the Dow Corning Barry site. "The proposed plant at the Barry site would help us to further contribute to the company’s sustainability by generating power and steam which we can use on site. "The combined heat and power approach would provide us with an efficient and sustainable source of energy, which would bring long-term benefits to Dow Corning and the local economy."

But Barry & Vale Friends of the Earth co-ordinator, Keith Stockdale said the group would not welcome the proposals.

He said: "The last thing we need is another proposal for an incinerator.

"I can't understand why Dow Corning can't increase the capacity of the CHP they have already got - or get energy more readily from the National Grid."

Max Wallis of Vale FoE added: “We shall fight this third incinerator application for Barry all the way.

"WRG is the same company with the same design that was dropped last year by Hull Council as too costly.

"They are attracted here by the Welsh Assembly Government subsidy, but incineration of waste is still more costly and more environmentally damaging than alternatives."

WRG had anticipated locating its facility at Traston Road, Newport, but a development in its proposed off-take arrangements has necessitated a change in the proposed location to Barry.

It is anticipated the waste material would be brought in from the five local authorities by road.