Construction Progress

Multiple Supply Chain Opportunities Now Available

With the construction and commission phases soon finishing at the Rookery South Energy Recovery facility, the Covanta operations team is looking to engage with local companies able to supply a broad range goods and services.


If your business supplies any of the above services and is located within 25 miles of the plant at Stewartby in Bedfordshire, please email us at to find out more and to receive a Supplier Registration form.


Construction Process

Construction work began on the facility in March 2019 and is being led by Hitachi Zosen Inova (HZI) under a turnkey engineering, procurement and construction contract. The construction phase is expected to take approximately 36 months to complete.

The construction phase has employed over 300 people from across Bedfordshire and a further 150 employees from outside the county but based within a 25-mile radius of the Rookery South site. This has provided significant benefits to local economies and supply chains, demonstrating the project’s commitment to purchase goods and services from local companies wherever possible.

Covanta continues to provide technical oversight during the construction phase and will supply operations and maintenance services through commissioning as well as when the project commences commercial operations in the first quarter of 2022.

To read Hitachi Zosen Inova's statement on COVID-19 and site construction, click here.


Start of Plant Commissioning

HZI has commenced the process of commissioning and testing activities at the Rookery South facility, which is an important step before the plant becomes fully operational.

A team of experienced commissioning engineers are now based at the site and are responsible for delivering this important phase which is also required by the Environment Agency (EA) under the terms of the project’s Environmental Permit.

A five-step guide to commissioning activities:

  1. Commissioning of a new energy recovery facility involves a number of well-planned activities, in a tried and tested sequence. All of the individual plant systems will be prepared and tested before being put into operational use.
  2. Once all of the individual systems have been commissioned, the plant as a whole will undergo a number of tests to prove its operational, and in particular its safety and environmental performance. Commissioning activities have now started during and the whole process should be completed by the end of 2021.
  3. Some of the steps involved in commissioning are likely to result in activities which could be seen or heard in the local community outside of our site boundary. The nature of commissioning is that it is a one-off phase of the project, so it is important to note that many of the things that you may see or hear during commissioning are not typical of the normal operation conditions of the facility.
  4. One of the early steps in commissioning phase will be to warm-up and dry-out the boilers using oil burners. This may result in a plume of water vapour (steam) being visible from the main chimney stack. This activity is expected to take place throughout April and May 2021.
  5. Another step will involve a process called “steam blowing”. This process uses pressurised steam, produced by the heat in the boiler, to clean the inside of the boiler tubes and pipework.

During this time, residents living closest to the site may hear a noise similar to rushing air. A silencer is fitted to minimise the noise as much as possible. A plume of water vapour will be visible as the steam condenses in the cooler air outside the facility. This activity is expected to take place throughout April and May 2021.

No residual waste (this is waste that remains after recycling and composting has taken place and would otherwise been sent to landfill) is scheduled to be delivered to the facility before late Spring/early Summer 2021, since the above activities will be carried out using oil burners only.

Prior to the commencement of the waste deliveries, the necessary systems for the proper receipt, handling and management of the waste will also be commissioned along with the systems for collecting and transporting combustion and treatment residues safely away from the site.

The Environment Agency are aware of these plans and the control measures put in place to minimise risks and local impacts during this important phase of the project.


Operations Team Roles at Rookery South


Covanta is in the final stages of recruiting the operations andmaintenance team for the site. We accept all job applications via the Covanta career website. Please click here to search and apply for suitable jobs.

If your desired job is not listed, we recommend that you create a candidate profile and set up a job search agent to be immediately informed of matching positions in the future.  You can follow these easy steps to create a new candidate profile:

Please visit here , select “Sign In” and then “Create a profile”.



Latest Construction Footage

Over the 36-month construction phase the project team will be updating these pages with quarterly short films which will show the viewer how the build phase is progressing. 

The films will use a combination of time-lapse and real-time footage, which will be made available for interested parties and local communities to watch. Previous films can be viewed here on the Covanta YouTube channel.


Construction progress April 2021 to September 2021