Pennon’s Viridor Building Scotland Waste-to-Power Plant

Viridor Ltd., the waste unit of Pennon Group, the U.K.’s third-largest publicly traded water utility, started building a 177 million-pound ($274 million) facility in Scotland that will turn trash into energy.

The plant will process 300,000 tons of waste a year to generate 30 megawatts of clean energy, enough to power 39,000 homes, Viridor said Friday. The works will also produce 10 megawatts of heat for local use, it said.

The East Lothian plant is expected to start working in 2017. The works mean Viridor has committed 357 million pounds of investments in Scottish recycling and energy facilities the last 18 months, said Ian McAulay, Viridor’s chief executive officer. The company expects energy-from-waste to bring in about 125 million pounds of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization by 2020.

Scotland, which is trying to become “zero waste,” has slashed the waste it sends to landfills from 7.4 million tons in 2007 to 4.5 million tons in 2012, said Richard Lochhead, cabinet secretary for rural affairs, food and environment.

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