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Newly-opened aggregates manufacturing plant provides sustainable materials for Midlands construction projects

Newly-opened aggregates manufacturing plant provides sustainable materials for Midlands construction projects

The UK’s newest aggregate manufacturing plant has been officially opened in Wellingborough, providing low-carbon secondary aggregate to help meet the Midlands’ construction needs. The plant will transform around 200,000 tonnes per year of incinerator bottom ash (IBA) left over from the energy-from-waste (EfW) process into EcoBlend, a sustainable manufactured aggregate for use in the built environment.

The £20m facility was formally opened by Gen Kitchen, MP for Wellingborough, at a launch event organised by the plant’s joint owners – energy-from-waste business Encyclis and material specialists Day Aggregates – supported by aggregates trading firm GRS, the contracted distributor for the local area.

Encyclis / Day Aggregates opening

At the official opening ceremony, the plant was described as a symbol of regeneration, representing significant inward investment into the region. In addition to the 50 contractors per day that were supported during 17-months of construction and commissioning, the plant has directly created an additional nine full-time jobs on-site and will further support the local supply chain.

Gen Kitchen

Gen Kitchen, MP for Wellingborough, said: “I’m delighted to formally open this facility, which represents a significant investment into our region. I’m passionate about the potential of this area as a hub for business, due to its central location, transport links and strong industrial track record. It’s also important that we ensure commercial activity is sustainable and this aggregate manufacturing facility is an excellent example of that, taking a residual material that would previously have been discarded and turning it into a useful material that supports local construction. It’s vital that we promote a more circular economy in this way.”

A strategic partnership between Encyclis and Day Aggregates was established to begin building the plant 18-months ago on a site in the Finedon Road Industrial Estate. The plant’s location offers optimal transport links, while addressing an identified deficit in the local availability of natural resources. This new supply chain for EcoBlend will service local needs with a product that is sustainable, cost-effective and certified to the required specifications.

The project bolsters the circular economy by recycling a by-product of the energy-from-waste process. Encyclis’s energy recovery facilities – Rookery South, in Bedfordshire, and Newhurst, in Leicestershire – provide capacity to annually treat over one million tonnes of residual waste that would previously have been sent to landfill. The waste is combusted at high temperatures to produce baseload electricity, heat and other resources.

After the combustion process, inert ash is left over. This is transported from the two energy recovery facilities to the Wellingborough plant. Day Aggregates extracts any remaining metals for recycling and converts the bottom ash into aggregate products including EcoBlend, which serves as an effective sub-base under pavements, footpaths, car parks and roads.  

Materials trading firm GRS is responsible for marketing the products to construction companies looking for cost-effective materials that also enhance the environmental credentials of their projects.

Owen Michaelson, Chief Executive of Encyclis, said: “We are immensely proud to be formally opening this new facility in Wellingborough – which provides the region with essential infrastructure to support the sustainable treatment of waste and the recovery of resources. Both of these are crucial in enabling a more circular economy that accelerates the UK’s progress towards net-zero. The opening of this facility represents real action to help meet those environmental goals.”

Adam Day, Contracts Director at Day Group, said: “Our state-of-the-art recovery and manufacturing facility has the most up-to-date processing equipment, which produces the best quality material as efficiently as possible. EcoBlend will now provide a sustainable solution for the local construction market, reducing the region’s reliance on sourcing and transporting aggregates from out of the area.”

Antony Beamish, Managing Director for GRS Trading, said: “The technology and innovation that’s gone into developing this processing plant is impressive. We’re looking forward to supplying EcoBlend to our customers across the region, to improve the sustainability of the supply chain as part of our collaborative drive towards circularity.”

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BDC 317 : Jun 2024