Last week a delegation of Labour Councillors from Northampton Borough visited the Gasification Plant under construction in Milton Keynes.
Leader of the Labour Group, Cllr Danielle Stone, said:
“In part our visit was to learn more about the process of gasification so we would be more informed about the debate raging in St James.
This plant is wholly owned by Milton Keynes Council and has been designed, and built in partnership with Amey based on Norwegian Technology. Amey are the operators and management is through a Partnership Board.
The plant covers 4 hectares and will be fully operational by the Autumn, treating 140,000 tons. The site was enhanced by being surrounded by trees and the back was landscaped. It was made to blend in with the surrounding environment. The whole site and plant looked remarkably clean and well managed. There was a great emphasis on health and safety. The plant uses three processes, mechanical, biological and thermal.
Their target is for a minimum of 97% of waste treated this way. Have a maximum 3% to Landfill and 60% recycling. The plant costs £140 million of which Milton Keynes Council has put in £129 million.
The plant was very impressive. The visit confirmed our view it would not be appropriate for St James. This was in an industrial estate whereas St James is a built up residential area. This site had plenty of space and the surrounding roads had much spare capacity which is the opposite of the Westbridge Depot in St. James. There is a gasification plant in Milton Keynes and Corby, so is there any real need to have a similar one in Northampton?”