From Landfill to Energy: Runcorn’s Clean Energy Quest

Beyond Waste-to-Energy

Pioneering advanced technologies in Waste-to-Energy conversion

Location: Runcorn, United Kingdom
Category: Waste-to-Energy and Recycling Plants
Contract type: EPC (Engineering, Procurement, and Construction)
Scope of contract: The contract included the design and  construction of a Waste-to-Energy facility capable of converting municipal waste into electricity and steam, incorporating advanced technologies for waste processing and emissions treatment.
Capacity electricity:  Production of 83.5 MW of electricity
Number of Production Lines: 4
Plant start up: 2015
Amidst global challenges of escalating waste volumes, shrinking landfill spaces, and rising energy costs, the Runcorn Waste-to-Energy (WtE) project emerged as a beacon of sustainability and innovation in the UK. This initiative has redefined waste management solutions for the future, positioning Energy-from-Waste (EfW) technology as a cornerstone for cleaner, greener communities.

A solution for today and tomorrow

The Runcorn WtE facility, with its advanced technological framework, dramatically reduced landfill reliance by up to 90%, curbing the volume of waste through conversion into electricity and steam. Unlike traditional landfills, this approach mitigated methane emissions—a potent greenhouse gas—thus offering an environmentally friendly alternative for waste disposal. The facility’s sophisticated flue gas treatment systems ensured that emissions met stringent health and environmental standards, dispelling concerns about potential public health risks.

Engineering excellence by Keppel Seghers

Keppel Seghers, the environmental engineering division of Keppel Infrastructure, played a pivotal role as the Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) partner for the Greater Manchester EfW Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Plant. These phases collectively supported the energy needs of the Ineos Chlor’s Runcorn manufacturing site and addressed the market’s shift away from landfill due to rising landfill tax, favouring WtE solutions.

The Runcorn facility, a landmark project, emerged as one of Europe’s largest and most efficient WtE plants, incorporating Keppel Seghers’ proprietary technology. This included the Water-cooled Multi-Stage Grate and Prism technology, enhancing heat recovery and operational efficiency.

Energy efficiency

83.5 MW - 51,2MWh

Combined electricity and heat

1.1 Mio

Ton waste valorised per year

Two successive five-year terms of technical assistance contracts

Since the post-delivery phase in 2018, Keppel has conducted performance enhancement reviews for the plant and provided five years of specialized technical support to the Operations & Maintenance team. With Keppel’s technical assistance, Viridor successfully obtained approval from the Environment Agency to increase the Runcorn Energy from Waste (EfW) plant’s capacity by 250,000 tonnes per year, raising it from 850,000 to 1,100,000 tonnes per year. This expansion makes it the largest facility of its kind in the UK, surpassing others by several hundred thousand tonnes. In 2023, Viridor renewed its contract for technical assistance with Keppel, which will continue to offer support services for the facility over the next five years. This support includes assistance during major overhauls, data analysis on plant performance, and other services.

Advancing UK’s decarbonisation: Runcorn EfW’s integration in HyNet CCUS cluster and Pre-FEED study for carbon capture initiative

Keppel completed a pre-FEED (Front-End Engineering Design) study on the energy recovery facility’s interface points for a proposed carbon capture (CC) facility at the existing Runcorn Energy from Waste (EfW) site. This study was part of a comprehensive pre-FEED analysis that supported Viridor’s application for funding under the UK government’s Industrial Carbon Capture (ICC) sequencing process, a critical component of the UK’s decarbonisation strategy.

In March 2023, the UK Government announced that the Runcorn EfW had been shortlisted for the final stage of the government’s ICC sequencing process. The Runcorn EfW is integrated within the HyNet industrial carbon capture, usage, and storage (CCUS) cluster. This initiative aims to reduce carbon emissions from industries, homes, and transport while supporting economic growth in the North-West of England.”

Air quality and public health assurance

The Runcorn WtE Plant underscored the viability of modern EfW facilities in safeguarding public health through meticulous flue gas cleaning processes. Employing a combination of selective non-catalytic reduction, dry scrubbing, carbon injection, and fabric filter baghouses, the plant effectively neutralised harmful emissions, setting a benchmark in environmental protection and waste management excellence.


  1. Decarbonisation:The Runcorn Waste-to-Energy Project is a landmark in the UK’s Waste-to-Energy decarbonisation, integrating a pioneering carbon capture plant at the Runcorn EfW facility. As part of the HyNet CCUS cluster, it plays a crucial role in reducing emissions and driving sustainable growth in the North-West of England.
  2. Technological Advancements: Utilising Keppel Seghers’ innovative technologies like the Water-cooled Multi-Stage Grate and Prism technology, the plant stands as one of Europe’s largest and most efficient WtE facilities, setting a high standard in waste processing and energy production.
  3. Environmental and Health Benefits: The project not only reduces landfill waste significantly but also employs advanced flue gas treatment systems, including selective non-catalytic reduction, dry scrubbing, carbon injection, and fabric filter baghouses, to ensure emissions meet strict environmental and health standards.
Keppel Seghers Belgium, Belgian Engineering and Technology Hub

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Keppel Seghers Belgium - Belgian Engineering and Technology Hub. Experts in Waste-to-Energy
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