PLANS for a nine megawatt “energy recovery facility” with 85-metre chimney in Buttington Quarry were discussed at the latest community council meeting.
Trewern Community Council welcomed Alistair Hilditch-Brown, of Broad Energy, consultant Rick Bright, plus waste and environmental management specialist Judith Harper and members of the public to their meeting.
Community council chairman David Brown said: “This is a really early stage. We haven’t had a planning application for the project in the quarry.
“This evening is more about questions than answers.”
Broad Energy representatives explained that the facility would create 8.8 megawatts of energy generation created through combustion of non-hazardous, non-organic, commercial, construction and demolition waste including plastic film.
Yet it would not deal with domestic waste, so plastic film would continue to be a problem for Powys residents sorting their weekly recycling.
A potential conflict of interest matter was raised at a previous meeting in Welshpool Livestock market.
It had been noted that Mr Hilditch-Brown is related to the owners of the quarry. In response to this he said: “My family, through marriage, are owners of the quarry but they have no involvement whatsoever in this project.”
With a catchment area covering Mid Wales and Wrexham, the facility would have access to 274,000 tonnes of waste which is currently going to landfill and has a potential capacity to process 100,000 tonnes a year.
The facility would require waste to be transported to the quarry in 40-foot lorries.
Breaking down the traffic movements, Mr Hilditch-Brown said: “In operation it is three in and three out an hour. Operation times would be from 8am to 6pm. That would be 60 movements per day.”
Ms Harper addressed questions about the potential noise and smell of the facility.
She said: “Everything is worked within a fully closed building. It is in negative pressure so air cannot escape. There would not be any escaped smells.
“A noise assessment has shown a maximum decibel increase of nine, although this is mainly attributed to traffic.”
Concerns were raised that despite screening being planned around the facility, there is a limit to what can screen an 85-metre chimney stack.
Consultant Rick Bright said: “The stack is 85 metres because it has got to clear the quarry. The stack will be visible, we can’t hide the stack but there are things that can be done to mitigate the visibility.”
Members of the public raised concerns that thick cloud cover and dropping Southerly winds coming off Long Mountain could cause fumes from the chimney to drop.
Notably on to Buttington Trewern School, 800 metres from the stack.
Ms Harper said: “What comes out the top is very hot and will come out very fast.”
Monitoring of the facility would be constant, keeping it within relevant EU regulations which are bound in UK law, unaffected by Brexit.
On the current time schedule, the facility could be opened in 2020.