Incinerator gets award ahead of public scrutiny

The waste incinerator at Great Blakenham. Photograph Simon Parker

The waste incinerator at Great Blakenham. Photograph Simon Parker - Credit: Archant

Suffolk’s incinerator at Great Blakenham has won a national award at the 2015 British Construction Industry Awards.

The incinerator, or energy from waste plant, received the Civil Engineering Project of the Year award for schemes costing £10m to £50m.

The work carried by main contractor Lagan Construction cost £43m, out of a total project cost of around £180m.

The plant, which processes 269,000 tonnes of waste a year, was described by the judges as providing “an elegant solution” to waste management.

The site, which began operating last December, is run on behalf of Suffolk County Council by SUEZ (formerly SITA UK) which was also the commissioning authority for the work.

Members of the council’s scrutiny committee are to review its operation next week – and will hear it is saving £15 a tonne on the cost of disposing of rubbish compared with sending it to landfill as happened in the past.

Jean-Claude Sartenaer, project director for SUEZ, said: “The facility fulfils a very important function – using waste which would otherwise go to landfill to create enough electricity for 30,000 homes.

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“But we always wanted it to be the best, not just in dealing with waste, but also in terms of its design, environmental credentials and efficiency. We are delighted our efforts have been recognised through this national award.”

Suffolk cabinet member for the environment Matthew Hicks added: “I am thrilled that Lagan and SUEZ have received industry-wide recognition for the excellent way that they delivered this facility on time and on budget.”

The plant burns non-recycleable waste from Norfolk as well as Suffolk.

Another winner at the same ceremony was Ipswich-based Jackson Civil Engineering which picked up the Temporary Works Award for a joint replacement project on the QEII Bridge on the Dartford Crossing between Kent and Essex.