By Angelos Anastasiou
EGNEDOL Ltd, the Cypriot firm that tried to get its foot in the door of the waste-management game in Cyprus last year by promising a waste-to-energy plant at Pentakomo at no cost to the taxpayer, only to be summarily dismissed by Interior minister Socratis Hasikos who then gave the job to a private consortium on a 10-year, €70-million deal, has announced a similar project in Pembrokeshire, Wales.
The facility, named “Centre of Renewable Energy Excellence” and slated to cost £685 million and create 560 jobs, plans to produce electricity from exposing organic materials to high temperatures, with by-products from the process used in alternative industries such as prawn farms and food production.
The company also eyes partnering with Welsh universities in creating an on-site research and development facility that will “advance new and existing sustainable technologies”.
According to a story featuring on BBC’s website, a public exhibition is planned for October ahead of a planning application to be submitted to the local council.
“Certain major industries in the Milford area – like a refinery – have shut down,” a spokesman for Egnedol told the Cyprus Mail.
“So it was important to get the project up and running fast to generate jobs. Thus we divided it into phase I – a 50-megawatt plant – that will be completed by January 2017, and phase II – a 350-megawatt production unit – within three years.”
Egnedol’s investment thus far includes a private jetty, an adjacent exclusive railroad station, and licences for power, gas, and fuel production.
If the project proves successful, Egnedol has pledged to increase investment by about £1 billion over the next five years.
The company said the investment will make Pembrokeshire an international standard-bearer for cutting-edge clean energy technology.
According to Egnedol, the whole process – an open tenders process – lasted slightly longer than two years, and included “exhaustive legal, financial, insurance, and technical due diligence by global accredited groups appointed by the Welsh government”.
Last year, the government of Cyprus found itself racing time in meeting EU deadlines for compliance with waste-management regulations. Awaiting the conclusion of the tenders process, the interior and agriculture ministers were approached by Egnedol with a proposal for a similar plant.
“The technology is identical [to the proposed Cyprus plant],” a spokesman for Egnedol said.
“The technology we are using is so versatile it can be used for municipal solid waste treatment or virgin biomass.”
At the time, the company’s people didn’t get very far, as Hasikos and the interior ministry people were unconvinced and quickly declined further discussion.
Egnedol then decided to move on to alternative options, including a small recycling plant in Limassol.
“There has been limited progress and huge delays [since then],” the spokesman said.
“Now that the climate in Cyprus has become much more welcoming we are revisiting the opportunity and pushing for it to start. We have been inundated by CVs of highly qualified Cypriots who want to work for Egnedol in the Wales plant. If we can offer the opportunity for them to do so in Cyprus, so much the better.”