The Retford Circular Economy Project [RCEP] is being brought forward by Hive Aggregates, part of the Hive Energy Group. The project will extract around 300,000 tonnes of pulverised fuel ash (PFA) waste per year from a landfill site, turning it into a sustainable cement replacement and providing a vital tool to decarbonise the building products industry at a time when ‘fresh’ supply of PFA from existing power stations is ending.
Currently, the cement industry is a key contributor of greenhouse gases. If the cement industry alone were a country, it would be the third largest carbon emitter, after only China and the United States. Decarbonising the cement industry will provide substantial progression towards a carbon neutral future, much needed in order to meet global temperature targets set by The Paris Agreement (2016).
What does the planning application cover?
Hive Aggregates has now submitted its planning application for the RCEP to Nottinghamshire County Council, the planning authority for the proposal, who now have a target period of up to 16 weeks to make a decision. Key elements of the project include the following:
- Beneficially using PFA that was thrown away as a waste, providing a circular economy solution rather than letting it sit in landfill.
- Saving close to 1 tonne of carbon for every tonne of traditional cement that is replaced by PFA from the site, amounting to upwards of 5 million tonnes of carbon saved over the lifetime of the project.
- Bring significant benefits to the local area, including 20-30 jobs at the site and up to 60 additional jobs for local hauliers, contractors and manufacturers, amongst others.
- Providing a vital supply of alternative materials to the construction sector and conserving natural resources.
- Restoring the site to valuable habitats that will significantly improve biodiversity.
The project team undertook community consultation in Autumn 2022 and received valuable feedback on the proposals from the local community that Hive Aggregates has reviewed and responded to. It is anticipated that there will be further community consultation in the coming months, including regular updates and meetings in the local community.
Comments from our Project Director
Project Director Jake Barnes-Gott has said: “Thank you to all members of the community who provided feedback on our proposals. We received a wide range of feedback, including support for re-using PFA as an alternative to traditional cement, support for job creation and the carbon reduction credentials of the project. Our planning application includes a full suite of environmental mitigation and management measures, which have been discussed and refined with various local organisations and stakeholders, including the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust. We look forward to continuing to work closely with local stakeholders in bringing forward this vital project, including further meetings in the local community.”