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Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Fire damage forces DERL to shed 20 incinerator jobs

Half of the 40 workers at the Dundee incinerator are set to lose their jobs because the waste-to-energy plant will be out of action for more than a year after a blaze in May.
DERL incinerator blaze
The conveyer belt collapsed during May's fire.
  • However, its operators say they are determined to make repairs and are also seeking up to £30 million to upgrade it and keep it going for another two decades.
The Baldovie complex handles thousands of tonnes of the city's rubbish but has been non-operational since a fire in its fuel store.
It was the latest in a series of setbacks, including several accidental fires, mechanical problems and a troubled financial history that has seen Dundee Energy Recycling Ltd rack up huge losses — £5.6 million last year alone.
The company insists that it sees a secure future for the incinerator, provided it can find the money it needs to pay for the planned improvements.
That investment will, however, come too late to save the jobs of around 20 workers.
DERL said that with the plant set to remain on a care-and-maintenance basis until late next year at the earliest, it had begun a 30-day consultation with staff.
A spokesman said: ''We deeply regret having to resort to the redundancy process, especially given our staff's skills and their commitment to the success of the company, but our current staffing arrangements are unsustainable while the plant remains non-operational.
''However, our vision goes beyond reinstating the fuel store, to encompass a significantly upgraded plant that is equipped to meet the residual waste management needs of Dundee and beyond over the next two decades.
''We aim to create sustainable jobs again in an improved and extended facility in the longer term.''
The spokesman said that work on plans for the life extension had started well before the fire in May, which forced a halt to waste processing operations pending an insurance settlement and reinstatement work.
From: Dundee Courier.

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