Site investigations starting at NESS energy from waste plant

Site investigations are starting on Monday 27 August for the new energy from waste plant which is being built to deal with waste which cannot be recycled from three north-east local authorities.

The work is being carried out primarily to determine the geotechnical aspects of the site which will be located in Tullos Industrial Estate in Aberdeen and will consist of several boreholes to investigate information such as where bedrock lies and soil strength, and is due to take about six weeks to complete.

The contractor will also investigate the size and integrity of the piles which were underneath the former gas plant which was demolished. The investigations will allow the two remaining bidders for the build-and-operate contract to redefine their proposals.

Aberdeen City Council operational delivery vice convener Councillor Philip Bell said: “These are all relatively standard tests to be carried out on land ahead of development and would be the same or similar regardless of what was being developed on the site.

“The energy from waste plant, which had planning permission granted in 2016 and main construction is due to start late 2018/early 2019, will provide a local solution for waste disposal and will complement the huge recycling efforts by the three councils.

“We hope there will be a minimum of disruption although there will be plant being delivered to the site so we apologise in advance for any disruption caused.”

From 1st January 2021, Scottish councils will be banned from putting any biodegradable municipal waste into landfill. Business cases prepared separately by all three councils concluded that a joint Energy from Waste facility is the best option.

The energy from waste plant will provide a local solution for waste disposal while generating heat to benefit the community it is sited in and electricity, and will take waste which cannot be recycled from the three councils. The facility will also align with Scotland’s vision of becoming a Zero Waste society, and a shared facility will cost less and provide the best value for money for the three councils.

All three councils have a legal obligation to continue recycling, increase their percentage of recycling, and importantly, all are committed to increase their recycling rates.

During the site investigation work, there will be one or two large tracked excavators, two to three drilling rigs, plus other smaller items on site. The first week of the site investigations will be mostly mobilisation, so there is expected to be surveyors at the site, kit arriving, and some smaller preliminaries. The standard site office/welfare facilities should also arrive.

Following the site investigations, work will start on diverting a 180 metre section of Tullos Burn which is being moved from its current location to allow the construction to start on the energy from waste plant in the coming months. If it had remained in its current position, it would have been underneath the main structure.

The work for Tullos Burn, which was a condition of the planning permission for the plant, includes trench excavation and is currently out to tender on Public Contracts Scotland.

There will be additional later work at the site comprising of moving a fence and demolition of a nearby building, which is again part of the preparations before the main contractor’s works start.

The NESS project website has recently been updated with additional information, infographics, and a short video, and can be viewed at http://www.nessenergy.co.uk/.