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Hills Selects Chinook Sciences for 22 MW Waste to Energy Gasification Plans in Wiltshire, UK

17 October 2014

Ben Messenger

Northacre Renewable Energy (NRE), part of waste and recycling firm, The Hills Group, is proposing to submit a planning application to build a 22 MW waste to energy gasification facility at the Northacre Industrial Park in Wiltshire.

The proposed site is located between Hills Waste Solutions’ existing Northacre Resource Recovery Centre (NRRC) and Arla Foods Westbury Dairies at on the industrial park in Westbury.

The facility would use gasification technology to generate electricity. The company said that discussions with local businesses that are interested in being supplied with local heat and power from Northacre Renewable Energy are ongoing.

Nottingham, UK based waste gasification and clean technology firm, Chinook Sciences, has been selected by Hills as the technology partner for the proposed waste gasification plant.

If the facility goes ahead it will process 160,000 tonnes of high calorific content Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF) Hills’ NRRC, as well as local Commercial and Industrial (C&I) waste  to generate 22 MW. Some of power generated will be used by the waste to energy facility and the adjoining NRRC material recycling facility.

Hills explained that currently the SRF from the NRRC is transported by road to port and shipped to energy facilities located in Germany and Holland because there is not a local waste to energy plant in Wiltshire.

The company said that Northacre Renewable Energy will help fill the gap in the renewable energy market and enable locally produced fuel to be used to generate local energy which supports the concept of regional energy security.

Northacre Renewable Energy will also create 40 new jobs and support Wiltshire’s aspiration for a green economy.

The plan is for Northacre Renewable Energy (NRE) to also provide electricity and potentially heat to adjacent businesses on the Northacre Industrial Park, and to export the surplus electricity to the National Grid.

“We are creating a local circular economy,” commented Northacre Renewable Energy director, Mike Webster commented.

“Wiltshire’s household waste is made into a SRF at Northacre RRC and together with commercial and industrial waste destined for landfill will supply the proposed Northacre Renewable Energy facility right next door which will in turn power local businesses,” he added.


According to Chinook, its RODECS® gasification system, now in its ninth design generation, uses the company’s patented Active Pyrolysis® process to reclaim valuables and transform discarded waste materials into energy.

By combining both pyrolysis and gasification the system is claimed to be capable of processing any form of organic waste, recovering metals and other recyclable materials, and producing a clean synthetic gas (syngas) for energy generation.

The proprietary process is also claimed to not require any form of pre-sorting or pre-processing.

The first RODECS system was commissioned in 2000 and had a batch capacity of 2m3. The company noted that it is still in full operational today. The current generation is said to have a batch capacity of over 100m3 and is capable of processing 100,000 tonnes of MSW per year.

According to Chinook, Hills conducted an extensive two yearlong selection process, using a firm of independent engineers to assess a range of conventional and Advanced Thermal Treatment technologies, before selecting its technology.

Planning process

The planning application process began recently with the launch of a consultation programme. The site has been identified in the Wiltshire and Swindon Waste Site Allocations Plan 2013 as a site suitable for a ‘Materials Recovery Facility, Waste Transfer Station, Local Recycling and Waste Treatment’.

Hills said that an eight week period of pre-planning consultation to seek views on the proposal to develop the Northacre Renewable Energy facility has now begun, with a public exhibition planned for the 4 November from 2pm to 8pm at Northacre RRC.

The company added that at this early stage in the development local businesses, community leaders and residents are being consulted.

Northacre Renewable Energy is aiming to submit its planning application to Wiltshire Council in December 2014. Subject to planning, Northacre Renewable Energy would then be built in 2015/2016 with the facility fully operational in 2017.

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