A local waste company has renewed plans to build n £80 million ($108m) complex including a 243,000 sq ft data center and incinerator, next to a quarry site in Reading, UK.

Local demolition, decontamination, and recycling contracting firm J Mould is proposing to build an incinerator and combined heat & power system – fuelled in part from waste materials from within J Mould’s existing waste management facility – which will power a proposed data center.

J Mould's plans for an incinerator plant and neighboring data center – J Mould

The planned development would sit on a 6.4-hectare site located on the eastern part of the company’s waste management facility at Reading Quarry off Berry’s Lane. The data center would consist of three floors measuring 7,532 sq m (81,000 sq ft) each, and feature rooftop solar panels. An adjacent office building would measure 287 sq m.

The incinerator – which would use equipment from HoST Technology – would burn up to 150,000 tonnes of waste per year. The 40MW Combined Heat and Power Energy Recovery Centre would then generate electricity and heat which would be exported to the adjacent data center. The site would see around 78 deliveries by HGV per day to deliver the waste.

According to J Mould’s site on the project, the site will produce 28MW of heat, and 11MW of electrical output. The site says the majority of the electric power will go to the data center "which requires a large amount of power to operate."

The site says the 28MW thermal output would be "utilized within the data center," though it is not clear how the facility will use the heat.

Permanent staff

J Mould says the data center will hire up to 10 permanent staff, out of a total of 40 staff on the site. IT is not clear whether J Mould will operate the facility itself or outsource operation, or what the business model would be.

Though the application was originally filed in 2020, the company filed an updated set of documents with West Berkshire Council in late December 2021.

Videos embedded in the site page show a slightly different proposal with a data center that only uses 1MW, suggesting perhaps that the capacity of the data center has been increased during the planning process.

The Council is yet to make a decision on the proposal. The company originally hoped to commence construction at the beginning of 2021, with the two facilities being operational within two years.

Newbury Today reports at least resident is upset at the renewed proposals, noting the carbon emissions from an incinerator and the impact it would have on local residents.

A spokesperson for Reading Borough Council - which neighbors the proposed site - said that officers examined the plan when it was submitted in September 2020 and recently, and found no reasons to object on behalf of borough residents.

“This planning application is for the existing J Mould Reading Quarry site in West Berkshire, which is already designated as a waste management facility," they said.

“Reading initially responded to West Berkshire’s planning consultation on November 2020 and while there have been a number of revisions to proposals, none have given cause for Reading council’s local planning authority to raise any specific grounds of objection on the basis of the impact on Reading.”

“It is wholly for West Berkshire District Council to consider and assess the application in full against its adopted local plan policies and national guidance.”

According to West Berkshire Council’s planning portal, the proposal has seen more than 30 objection letters submitted.

Get a weekly roundup of EMEA news, direct to your inbox.