Dr Graham Lambert's letter to the Echo of 11 November regarding Powerfuel's planned Energy Recovery Facility at Portland Port contains a number of errors or misunderstandings.

For example, he states that 'Weymouth Town Council increasing the frequency of promenade recycling bins emptying from twice weekly to five times per week is proof that people are now much more aware of the importance of recycling and reducing waste from unnecessary sources.... A terrible time therefore for Powerfuel to plan for a Portland Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) burning Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF).'

It is true that recycling rates in Dorset are high and we applaud the greater use of and emptying of recycling bins to reduce street litter and increase recycling capture.

Powerfuel hopes that these continue to rise in the coming years but there is still, and will remain, a large amount of residual waste that is not recycled. At the same time, with population growth and consumerism, the overall amount of waste produced continues to increase.

The Dorset Waste Plan states that the total waste arisings across the county were 1.6 million tonnes per year in 2015, and rising.

Non-hazardous waste was 862,000 in 2018, and the council project that will grow to over 1 million tonnes in the next few years. Even after Dorset's superb work on recycling, there is already c320,000 tonnes of suitable residual waste arising in Dorset.

As much as everyone desires more reuse and recycling and a fully circular economy, there will be significant amounts of waste left over after recycling in Dorset for many years to come.

The Powerfuel project will provide Dorset with a cost-effective solution that complies with waste management policy requirements, even as the constituents of the residue change.

There are no zero emission options available but the project will significantly reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with Dorset's waste management.

Dr Lambert claims that another potential ERF in Dorset must be extremely worrying for Powerfuel. Eco actually make the RDF from Dorset's waste and so Powerfuel would have to buy it from them and transport it from East Dorset to Portland by road. This is nonsense in both economic and environmental terms.

Dr Lambert is incorrect. Eco Sustainable Solutions currently doesn't produce RDF at all, from residual black bag or business waste or at all.

As per the original Echo article he refers to, Eco treat and process 250,000 tonnes of organic waste. That plan by Eco as reported was to process 60,000 tonnes of rubbish at that site, up to a fifth of that would be recycled and the rest (c48,000 tonnes) would be used to produce low-carbon energy.

Unfortunately, there is ample waste generated in the area to fuel the Portland ERF and others that may or may not go through the planning process.

The 60,000 tonnes of Dorset's household waste (after recycling) that currently goes to plant at Canford is already processed into RDF for export. Once the Portland ERF is available, Canford and other locations will be able to produce more RDF with the confidence that it would have a local energy recovery route.

Dr Lambert claims that "the current state of the cruise industry means that Powerfuel's plan to reduce carbon emissions by providing shore power to cruise ships has been sunk by Covid.

The Covid pandemic has hit the cruise industry hard which has been devastating to that sector.

That has caused knock-on damage to our local economy which normally receives a £4m annual injection from cruise business each year supporting stacks of local jobs.

But there is a clear expectation that the cruise business will come back, and expand further, once the pandemic is over. A KPMG report from 23 July 2020 stated: "Based on a recent survey from CLIA (the global cruise industry trade association), 82 per cent of cruisers are likely to book a cruise for their next vacation. Despite multiple outbreaks of COVID-19 and uncertainty over when sailing will reconvene, multiple reports say that there has been an increase in the booking for 2021 in comparison to 2019. This shows people are still looking forward to future travel on cruises, however, it may be harder to convince first-time cruisers. The poll conducted by CruiseCritic.com shows 75 per cent of 4,600 cruise passengers are interested in cruising after COVID-19 ends."

Portland Port already has more cruise visits booked in for 2021 than it had for 2020, so all indications are that this important business for the local area will continue to expand post-Covid, and the ERF will help the Port to attract even more tourists to the area.

The Royal Navy is well ahead of the game and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels that use the Port are all already shore power enabled and can take the shore power supply on day 1. Without the shore power, Portland Port fears for all of that cruise business, which is why they invited us in to deliver a self-sustaining energy solution. Shore power also significantly reduces emissions from visiting ships which will deliver net air quality improvement.

Dr Lambert "expresses concern that the local district heating network will take too long to develop."

Powerfuel is eager to work with potential heat users and is in discussion. We hope this comes to fruition as quickly as possible. Potential heat consumers have been identified and their heat profiles, along with peak and average loads, have been estimated. Until planning consent has been granted it is not possible to finalise detailed contractual arrangements with potential heat consumers, but we will be progressing this as quickly as possible after planning to ensure the local area enjoys all the benefits of the ERF.

Dr Lambert concludes by repeating his assertions that: "Feedstock supply will diminish year on year" - untrue "A moribund cruising industry closing the door on shore power" - untrue.

"A district heating system that is merely aspirational" - untrue.

There are clearly local questions about Powerfuel's plans, which we are working hard to address and reassure residents that there are no reasons for concerns.

When opponents such as Dr Lambert and others make untrue and misleading comments publicly, and stoop to personal attacks on anyone with a contrary view, it doesn't help with having a clear and sensible debate on the merits of the plan. Let's be kind, follow the science and discuss facts.

Giles Frampton

Director, Powerfuel

Gore Cross Business Park Bridport