Frequently Asked Questions

What is Earls Gate Energy Centre?

Earls Gate Energy Centre is a new energy recovery facility at Earls Gate Park, Grangemouth that will replace an existing gas-fired energy plant. The project will provide heat for CalaChem’s existing facility and adjacent industrial plants, and also export electricity to the National Grid. The technology involved – Energy from Waste (EfW) Combined Heat and Power (CHP) – is seen by many as the most environmentally sustainable solution for the management of residual municipal waste.

Why is this facility needed?

It replaces an existing facility, which has come to the end of its operating life.

Who is CalaChem?

CalaChem is one of the UK’s leading independent chemical companies.

What is the cost of the project and how is it funded?

The project capital cost is circa £200m and it is being privately and debt financed. The project’s investors are Brockwell Energy, the Green Investment Group and Covanta.

Who is Brockwell Energy?

Brockwell is a multi-platform energy business focused on developing and investing in a range of renewable and low carbon generation projects.

Who is the Green Investment Group?

The Green Investment Group (GIG) is a market leader in green energy investments.

Who is Covanta?

Covanta is a leading owner and operator of Energy from Waste facilities in North America and Europe.

Who will construct the facility?

The facility will be built by CNIM. Once completed, the facility will be operated by MES Environmental, a subsidiary of CNIM, for a contract duration of 25 years.

CNIM Group is a leading European specialist for the design and construction of power plants and has delivered 163 Energy from Waste plants all over the world.

Many subcontractors will be required during the construction of the facility. A Meet the Buyer event was held on 21st March 2019 for suppliers interested in working on the project. If you missed it, but still want to register as a potential supplier, please submit your company details.

What is the construction schedule?

Construction started with civil works in January 2019 and is expected to take about three years to complete. Commissioning will begin in 2021 and the plant is expected to be fully operational by the middle of 2022.

What will be done to encourage local people to apply for positions?

Our intention is to maximise the use of local labour where it is possible and sensible to do so. Job opportunities will be advertised locally and we will work with Jobcentre Plus and other sites to publicise the vacancies. We will try to recruit skilled people from the local area as far as possible given the specialist nature of some of the equipment and machinery.

We held a jobs fair in May 2019 for people to find out about construction-related jobs opportunities and longer term employment prospects at the facility. If you missed the event but are still interested in a role during the construction phase, please visit our contact page where you will find further details on how to submit your CV.

Once construction is complete and the site becomes operational, about 30 full-time, permanent roles will be created. These vacancies will be advertised online and through local recruitment agencies. There will also be a need for ongoing support and general service contracts throughout the facility’s operational life.

How many jobs will be created during construction?

Many subcontractors will be required during the construction of the facility, ranging from canteen services to engineering and construction, office materials, transport services and accommodation.

The number of roles on site at any one time will vary significantly and continue to change throughout the lifetime of the project. It is not possible to state in advance how many jobs will be created during the construction phase but we anticipate there will be around 300 people employed on site at the peak of construction. There will also be multiple supply chain opportunities for businesses throughout the construction phase.

How many local jobs will be offered and at what skill levels?

The numbers of jobs on site, like any other construction project, fluctuates throughout the lifetime of the project. It is not possible to state in advance what proportion of the jobs at any one time can be offered to local people but every effort will be made to recruit locally.

The complexity and dynamic nature of the construction phase means the number of vacancies will range widely across different trades, with different skills being required at different times.

How many people are expected to be employed permanently?

The facility will create 30 operational jobs which will be full-time, permanent positions with full training offered. These jobs will be advertised locally and we expect a large proportion of the new workforce to be from the Grangemouth area.

The vacancies will be advertised during 2021 through our website, local recruitment agencies and jobs fairs. This will form part of the recruitment process for both construction and operational jobs. There will also be the need for ongoing support and general service contracts throughout the facility’s operational life.

Will there be apprenticeship opportunities?

The standard apprentice offer will be difficult to operate as the construction process will typically be over a three-year period, with few apprentice roles operating continuously throughout this period. However, we have been able to address this in other areas of the country through the operation of ‘shared apprentices’ and the potential for this will be explored.

What aspects of the project will be from Europe / Non EU?

Whilst many elements of the project, including a very high proportion of the civil works, will be predominantly delivered by UK companies, some aspects of the project will have to be sourced from outside the UK. The type of technology used in Energy from Waste plants is not available in the UK for a number of historical reasons – there is a lack of industrial manufacturing capacity and plants of this type have not been built in this country for many years. Consequently, the design of the plant and the technical components will have to come from highly specialist companies outside the UK.

There will, however, be opportunities for suppliers to maintain and service the facility throughout the construction and operational life of the facility.

How can my company be considered for work?

A ‘Meet the Buyer’ event was held in March 2019 for companies interested in providing the required services. If you missed the event but want to register your interest as a potential supplier for the project, please submit your company details.

How will the selection of other maintenance and engineering contractors be undertaken?

The project requires a range of packages and suppliers and you can register your company details with us if you are interesting in becoming a potential supplier.

The project’s procurement specialists will assess contractors against the project criteria highlighted in the request for quotation.

Will agency staff be employed on the site?

Yes, there may well be times when labour is sourced through agencies – or principal labour suppliers as they are sometimes known. As part of the subcontracting agreements, we will ensure their terms and conditions meet or exceed the Scottish Living Wage. Any vacancies given to agencies will also be required to be advertised locally. Lastly, we will ensure that any sole traders are given the opportunity to apply for vacancies through dedicated companies that meet our policies.

What proportion of staff is expected to be employed through agencies?

As the numbers of people on site vary, it is not possible to estimate this figure at this stage. As we are keen to recruit local companies with local workers, we will also consider an additional event part way through the project in addition to our initial Meet the Buyer event which was held in March 2019. You can also register your company details with us.

Will there be any use of umbrella companies?

Only legitimate umbrella companies, with HMRC approval, will be used.

What commitment is there to source goods and services from local suppliers?

We held a Meet the Buyer event on 21st March 2019 at which we met with many local suppliers. If you missed the event but still want to register as a potential supplier, you can register your company details with us.

How much energy will the facility generate?

The facility will generate up to 21.5MW net of electricity.

Is this a renewable energy facility?

No, it is an energy recovery facility. It recovers energy from waste that would otherwise be sent to landfill.

What is Energy from Waste?

Energy from Waste is a sustainable method of dealing with waste that would otherwise go to landfill. Rather than burying waste in the ground where it emits greenhouse gases and leaches toxic substances into the soil, waste is instead treated as a resource that can be used to create heat and power.

What are the environmental benefits of the centre?

Each year, the facility will prevent 216,000 tonnes of household and commercial waste from entering landfill and will instead convert the waste into 79GWh of green electricity and 81GWh of heat in the form of steam. It will also decarbonise CalaChem’s annual energy consumption to an amount equivalent to taking around 17,000 cars off the road for a year. The electricity generated will be exported to the National Grid.

How will you ensure the facility’s emissions are safe?

The facility will use CEMS – Continuous Emissions Monitoring System – which uses probes in the chimney stack to continuously monitor the flue gas. The facility will operate under strict Scottish Environmental Protection Agency permit conditions.