Pyrolysis plant to power Welsh nickel refinery after Environment Agency grants permit


A pyrolysis plant will treat refuse derived fuel (RDF) at Vale Europe’s Clydach nickel refinery.

The plant, that will power the high energy use refinery, was granted a change of permit by the Environment Agency that allows the pyrolysis facility to operate on the same site as the refinery.


Around 10.3MW of energy will be generated with the majority being used on-site, but 3.8MW will be exported to the National Grid.

Some of the waste heat will be used to either dry the RDF or to generate additional electricity.

As a result of building the plant, Vale Europe expects to reduce its carbon footprint but also make the nickel refinery more affordable to operate.

Environment Agency Wales area manager Steve Brown said: “We have scrutinised the application rigorously over the last few months including a full consultation on any possible health or environmental issues.

“Detailed information from the company shows they have the necessary plans in place to operate this plant to the highest environmental standards.

“Now that we have granted the permit, we will monitor operations at the facility closely to make sure the company continues to operate within the requirements of the permit.”