An Artist's Impression of Viridor Facility
An Artist’s Impression of Valencia Facility

Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) near Dunbar.

The facility, located at its rail linked Oxwellmains waste treatment hub, secured planning consent for the site from Scottish Ministers in December 2010, and approval from SEPA in 2011.


In 2012, Viridor (now Valencia) got the go-ahead from East Lothian Council to vary planning conditions to allow waste to be transported to the new incinerator facility from anywhere in Scotland – a move that provoked anger from local protesters.

The plant uses a combination of moving grate combustion technology, anaerobic digestion and recycling technologies. In-line with the Scottish Governments ambitions to deliver a zero waste circular economy, the site will generate 30 MW of energy from waste which it will supply direct to the grid – enough to power 39,000 homes, as well as up to 10 MW of heat which will be available for local use.

Babcock & Wilcox Vølund (BWV) and its construction partner, Interserve were  selected by Viridor to design and build the planned waste to energy power plant .

B&W Vølund’s scope accounts for more than two-thirds of the contract value and includes two WTE boilers, the DynaGrate® dynamic fuel combustion system, steam turbine and a dry flue gas cleaning system. The consortium also will test and commission the plant.

The Dunbar plant will be able to process up to 300,000 tonnes per annum and will be part of many measures to help the Scottish government meet an ambitious target of landfilling zero biodegradable municipal waste by 2021.

The plant was scheduled to go online in the fourth quarter of 2017.

The plant will only accept post-recyclable material – material that can’t be recycled – and will operate to the highest national and international standards, stringently regulated by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.

At least 350 skilled and semi-skilled workers were employed throughout the three year construction phase, including a range of professional, skilled, entry-level roles and apprenticeships. The project also aims to deliver a range of community benefits focused on employment and training, providing support for local business and education through Viridor’s partnership with the Engineering Development Trust.

On completion the new Energy Recovery Facility will support 55 full-time jobs, supporting the East Lothian economy by an estimated £10 million per year.