CONSTRUCTION work on a huge waste incinerator near Ballingry, which will be capable of burning 240,000 tonnes of rubbish a year, will begin in the summer.

Brockwell Energy will run the energy-from-waste plant which will be built at the former opencast mine at Westfield and should be operational by 2024.

CEO Alex Lambie said: “Brockwell Energy Limited are delighted to confirm we have agreed key terms and entered into exclusivity with Hitachi Zosen Innova (HZI) as preferred bidder for the construction of our Westfield Energy Recovery Facility Limited in Fife.

“HZI will also provide operations and maintenance services to the Westfield facility under a long-term service agreement.

“Representatives from both organisations will work together over the coming weeks to finalise the suite of documents for lender technical and legal diligence in preparation for an efficient run to financial close.”

Rubbish that can't be recycled and would normally go to landfill will go to the centre, where the process of burning waste will produce electricity for the national grid and steam, which can be used to heat nearby homes and businesses.

With the ban on sending waste to landfill coming ever closer, alternative options are needed and Fife Council already have a deal in place to send 160,000 tonnes of waste to Westfield, which is between Ballingry and Kinglassie.

Brockwell Energy, based in Edinburgh and a subsidiary of Hargreaves Services, is a renewable energy developer and operator who said the state-of-the-art plant will include a 25-years operations and maintenance agreement.

Neil Young, technical and operations director, added: “This is a significant milestone for the project and the fact it’s being undertaken by such a highly experienced and successful construction and operations partner means we can be confident the project will be delivered – and add much needed capacity to the Scottish market.

“The state of-the-art plant will assist in meeting the Scottish Government’s environmental and legislative targets in advance of the landfill ban being implemented in 2025.”

The construction of the energy recovery centre will be the cornerstone of development on the Westfield site, where Brockwell are also planning to construct a 30 mega watts (MW) solar energy facility.

The projects are designed to be capable of providing renewable heat and power to support attracting other businesses to locate and invest in the wider site.

HZI, who are based in Switzerland and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hitachi Zosen Corporation, specialise in the design, construction and maintenance of energy-from-waste plants worldwide.

Coal production at Westfield ceased in 1998 and Hargreaves bought the derelict site in 2013.

The masterplan for the regeneration of the land includes industrial, employment and energy related uses.

Fife Council confirmed earlier this year that HGV movements in and out of the site will not travel along local roads and added that, as well as restoration and jobs, there will be benefits for the community through improved air and water quality and enhanced access for pedestrians and cyclists.