A new contractor has been appointed to construct a controversial Northwich incinerator after the previous builders collapsed.

The Guardian reported last January how CNIM - a UK subsidiary of the engineering contractor working on the Lostock Sustainable Energy Plant (LSEP) – was declared insolvent and entered administration.

In response, LSEP Ltd took over CNIM’s subcontracts for aspects of the project such as design and civil construction work in order to ensure the project did not stall.

LSEP has now appointed engineering, procurement, consulting and construction company Black & Veatch to oversee delivery of the £480m plant, which is expected to be operational by 2025 and generate enough sustainable energy to power around 125,000 homes.

A spokesperson from LSEP Ltd said: “This is a really positive step forward for the LSEP facility, which will support in levelling up the local economy by creating up to 600 jobs during the construction period and around 50 high quality full-time operational jobs with training opportunities to support career progression.

“Appointing Black and Veatch and Babcock and Wilcox Renewable as the lead contracting partners is a key milestone on our journey to manage the delivery of the LSEP plant, and provides the certainty that will help us to unlock the significant investment, job creation and energy security benefits of the project."

Once built, the LSEP will process 600,000 tonnes of waste per year.

Jimmy Morgan, Babcock & Wilcox executive vice president and chief operating officer, said: “We thank LSEP Ltd for choosing B&W Renewable for this key clean energy project.

"B&W Renewable has a global footprint with technologies that will play a critical role in decarbonisation and supporting the world’s energy transition."

The energy from waste facility was given the go ahead by the secretary of state in 2012 and in recent years, controversy had surrounded plans submitted by the company – a joint venture between Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and FCC Environment – to increase capacity.

If given the green light, it would have seen the amount of waste burned rise from 600,000 to 728,000 tonnes a year, with a huge increase in the number of daily HGV movements from 262 to 434. Its opening hours would also have been extended.

But the plans were knocked back by Secretary of State Michael Gove in December last year, following stern opposition from Cheshire West and Chester Council, local MPs, councillors and campaigners.