Essex County Council grants planning permission for Urbaser Balfour Beatty MBT plant


A mechanical biological treatment (MBT) facility in Basildon, Essex has moved a step closer after councillors granted planning permission.

Urbaser Balfour Beatty plans to build the facility under its 25-year contract with the council that was signed in May this year.


Both Essex County Council and Southend-on-Sea Borough Council were granted £100 million in Private Finance Initiative credits from the Department of Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs towards the facility in 2009.

It will be capable of treating 417,000 tonnes of municipal waste per year, and it will treat both municipal and commercial waste.

The MBT plant will output material for recycling as well as a solid recovered fuel. This facility will cost the Essex Waste Partnership £780 million over the lifetime of the contract, excluding the PFI credits.

Urbaser Balfour Beatty project director Tom Meacock said: “We are delighted with Essex County Council’s decision to approve this facility. Importantly, we would like to thank all of the local residents and businesses who attended the two public exhibitions we held in January and March 2012 as part of our pre-planning consultation.

“We will continue to work closely with local residents, businesses and the Essex Waste Partnership to ensure our facility delivers real benefit to the community.”

It has also been revealed that the council wishes to investigate a treatment solution for kitchen and garden waste on a 3.5 hectare site adjacent to the proposed MBT facility. Although in-vessel composting is the preferred solution, it hasn’t ruled out an anaerobic digestion facility on this location.