Joint venture between Larkfleet and React applies for energy recovery facility planning consent

Falcon Waste Development Land Company – part of the Larkfleet Group ( – and REACT Energy plc ( have submitted a planning application to build an Energy Recovery Facility in Clay Cross, Derbyshire.

The two companies are partners in Clay Cross Biomass Limited. The company has been established specifically to develop the Clay Cross Energy Recovery Facility which will produce heat and electrical power by ‘gasification’ of waste wood from construction and demolition, commercial and industrial sources.

When running at full capacity the plant will be able to generate around 12 MW of electrical power. Some of this will be required for operating the facility but about 10 MW – enough to meet the needs of approximately 18,000 homes – will be exported to the electric grid network.

In addition to electricity the plant will produce up to 10 MW of thermal energy in the form of hot water or steam. This could be made available to local businesses, industry, homes and nearby future developments – and it would be sufficient to heat the equivalent of nearly 4,000 average houses.

The other usable output of the gasification facility will be an ash/char material which can be used as aggregate in low grade concrete production or as a capping for landfill or for land reclamation. Approximately 4,000 tonnes of this material could be produced each year –about five per cent of the total weight of waste timber being put into the process.

The 2.4 hectare site is in the northern industrial area of Clay Cross. It has historically been used for mining and storing spoil from mining activities and there is a mine shaft on the land. More recently in the 1970s the site was used as a refuse tip and it has also been a scrap metal merchant and a sorting facility for dry recyclable materials. The history of the site and its existing permits for handling waste make the proposals an ideal way of safely bringing the site back into productive use.

As well as ‘low carbon’ power generation and the environmental benefits associated with productively using waste material that would otherwise go to landfill, the Clay Cross Energy Recovery Facility will offer local employment and training opportunities including an apprenticeship scheme.

Extensive public consultation on the plans has been undertaken – as a result of which some substantial changes have been made – and the partners in the project hope to secure planning permission from Derbyshire County Council in first half of 2015. Construction of the facility should then begin later in 2015 and the plant should be operational in 2017.

Karl Hick, Larkfleet Group chief executive, said: “Our objective at Falcon is to develop and implement innovative methods of converting waste into useful resources. In each of our projects we are aiming to deliver both environmental and economic sustainability.”

“The Clay Cross facility will meet all of those objectives, as well as providing exciting potential to utilise energy locally with long-term energy security in mind, while creating skilled jobs for the community.”

Gerry Madden REACT CEO said: “As the UK works towards its targets to generate more power from sustainable and clean sources, it’s important that new technologies are deployed. REACT has selected a proven gasification system, which has successfully delivered similar gasification facilities in Europe.  The plant selection meets the criteria of an Advanced Conversion Technology (ACT), therefore qualifying the project for the UK’s renewable incentive regime.”

Gasification converts a solid fuel (in this case, waste wood) into a syn-gas, which is then used to generate power and heat in a large reciprocating gas engine. It is a proven and reliable technology that has been used all over the world and is not to be confused with incineration.

It offers a number of advantages over direct combustion of the fuel because it translates approximately 80 per cent of the chemical energy present in the biomass feedstock into chemical energy during the gas phase without the production of harmful by-products.

Falcon – based in Bourne, Lincolnshire – has been established to develop high profile waste opportunities through the acquisition of strategically located sites. Falcon is part of the Larkfleet Group, a privately-owned house building and renewable energy development company that champions sustainability. The group is a major developer of sustainable energy projects and a provider of energy-efficiency improvements for new and existing developments.

REACT Energy plc is committed to operating clean electricity and heat generation plants in the UK and Ireland. The company identifies, builds owns and operates plants and possesses significant knowledge of energy markets, clean technologies, fuel sources, project development, project finance and project delivery. REACT currently has four operational clean energy plants generating revenue from the sale of electricity and heat. The generation of clean electricity and heat from sustainable sources has the potential to address the key energy challenges of energy security and carbon commitment and provide strong returns on capital employed.