Skip to main content

SWDWP - Energy from Waste

Who is MVV?

MVV Environment Ltd is a subsidiary of a German company specialising in waste management, district heating and energy. It has more than 45 years’ experience in building and operating waste management facilities. More information is available on the MVV Environment Ltd website.

What is Energy from Waste and how is the waste treated?

Energy from waste is the term used to describe the process where waste is specifically treated in order to recover energy. Energy from waste plants burn waste in a modern furnace under strictly controlled conditions to produce as much energy as possible. They generate heat and electricity that can be used to supply suitable customers in the surrounding area and/or power to the national grid.

Energy from waste, or energy recovery, forms part of the national waste management strategy and is a proven and reliable method of treating waste left over after efforts to re-use, reduce and recycle materials have taken place.

The Devonport facility designed and constructed for the Partnership is a high efficiency energy from waste plant with a capacity of 245,000 tonnes per year. The facility is operated as a combined heat and power (CHP) plant, providing sustainable electrical energy and heat to the naval base and dockyard as well as some electricity to the national grid.

What is combined heat and power (CHP)?

Combined Heat and Power (CHP) is where both heat and electricity is gainfully used from the process and this makes the solution highly efficient. CHP from energy from waste is commonplace across mainland Europe but has seldom been achieved in the UK and hence this project represents a significant achievement.

What comes out of the facility?

In addition to energy, when the waste is burned there are two kinds of residues produced; incinerator bottom ash (IBA) and fly ash (or Air Pollution Control Residues) which are treated and processed. Gases are also produced from the combustion process; these are cleaned thoroughly before emerging from the tall chimney stack.