TWO firms have announced a new partnership to deliver the huge waste incinerator near Ballingry.

Construction work started last February on the Westfield Energy Recovery Facility, on the site of a former opencast mine, but it was sold on in September.

New owner, infrastructure investor Equitix, has now announced a joint venture with waste management company Viridor to complete and deliver the plant.

Equitix CEO, Hugh Crossley, said: “We are pleased to be further enhancing our partnership with Viridor and together, contributing to the delivery of a zero waste, circular economy within Scotland via the Westfield Energy Recovery Facility in Fife.”

The plant, between Ballingry and Kinglassie, will be capable of burning 238,000 tonnes of rubbish a year, equivalent to the waste produced by around 437,000 Scottish households, and turning that into enough domestic power for 55,000 homes.

Westfield will also recycle metals and nearly 50,000 tonnes of aggregates, replacing quarried materials.

It was supposed to be up and running in 2024 but that's now been pushed back.

It's now expected to be "fully operational" by May 2025.

Rubbish that can't be recycled and would normally go to landfill will go to the plant, 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.

Brockwell Energy had launched the plans and gained planning consent to build the energy from waste site.

Swiss contractors Hitachi Zosen Inova began construction last February but it was announced in September that Westfield Energy Recovery Limited (WERL), the division of Brockwell that was delivering the plant, had been sold to Equitix.

Earlier this month Equitix announced the joint venture with Viridor, who already run an energy from waste plant in Dunbar, as well as in England and Wales.

Viridor CEO, Kevin Bradshaw, said: “This is a significant milestone in Viridor’s growth journey to continue diverting waste away from landfill.

"With Westfield’s strategic location, we have the exciting potential to further develop our carbon capture plans and our commitment to be net zero by 2040.”

Recovery of energy from waste allies with the Scottish Government’s ambitions of a zero waste, circular economy which encourages waste reduction, boosts recycling and recovers valuable energy from what remains.

Diverting waste from landfill avoids the production of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and is key to helping reduce the climate impact of the waste produced in our economy.

Viridor group business development director, Richard Belfield, added: “This latest venture with Equitix builds on the already mature relationship and underlines Viridor’s commitment to support the end of landfill and waste exports in Scotland.

"This facility will further reduce carbon and environmental emissions whilst contributing to vital baseload power generation."