Bombardier's Belfast facility given green light on energy plant to convert waste into heat and electricity
Wed 15 Jan 2014 – The Bombardier Aerospace factory in Belfast, Northern Ireland, which makes the advanced composite wings for the new CSeries jet, has been granted full planning consent for a new £85 million ($140m) energy plant that will convert waste into electricity and heat for the facility. The plant, which is expected to take 18 months to build, will be situated adjacent to the factory and will convert 120,000 tonnes of non-recyclable commercial and industrial waste annually using a gasification process. The project will reduce energy costs significantly, an important factor given the Belfast factory pays three times more for its power than sister facilities in North America.
The go-ahead was granted by Northern Ireland’s environment minister, Mark Durkan. “This is good news for Bombardier’s workforce of 6,000,” he said. “The new plant will help Bombardier to reduce electricity costs, maintain its competitiveness within international markets and safeguard employment.”
The energy plant will create 130 construction jobs and a further 20 posts will be created when it becomes operational. It operates by heating the waste to extremely high temperatures to produce a gas that generates steam to drive a turbine to create power.
“While I am keen to increase the amount of waste which is recycled, there is still a need for facilities to deal with waste that is not recyclable,” said Durkan. “I recognise the need for energy-from-waste opportunities and of alternative, more environmentally sustainable energy plans. This facility will draw value from waste which cannot be recycled, preventing it going to landfill and instead will use it to generate energy.
“This proposal is a win for the environment and a win for the economy and achieves the right balance in planning terms.”
Designed for the 100- to 149-seat market and powered by Pratt & Whitney’s new PurePower engines, the CSeries is an all-new aircraft from Bombardier that promises a 20% reduction in fuel burn and carbon emissions compared to existing aircraft in this category, along with a 50% reduction in NOx emissions. Its noise footprint is expected to be up to four times smaller than similar in-production aircraft. The aircraft is currently undergoing ground and flight testing, and entry into service is now anticipated in the second half of 2015.