Construction work has started on an anaerobic digestion (AD) plant at a site near Atherstone, Warwickshire.
The plant is being developed by AD specialist Biogen and will have the capacity to process up to 45,000 tonnes of food waste each year from households, food manufacturers and retailers in the region.
Electricity produced by the facility, which is being built on a disused quarry site on the Merevale & Blyth Estate, will provide enough energy to meet the annual demand of 4,000 homes.
The food waste will be processed by means of anaerobic digestion; in addition to generating renewable electricity for the grid the plant will produce a biofertiliser for use on the surrounding Estate and other local farmland.
Planning permission for the plant was granted by Warwickshire county council in 2011 (see letsrecycle.com story) and Biogen committed funding to start the construction on the project earlier this year.
Richard Barker, chief executive of Biogen, said: We are delighted to be starting the Merevale project. The plant will be an excellent addition to Biogens expanding network of facilities. It further strengthens our position as the leader in food waste AD treatment in the UK, and we look forward to enhancing our offering to existing and new clients in the heart of England.
Biogen has built around 16 AD plants across the UK, employing more than 60 people. It is also about to begin work on a similar sized food waste treatment AD facility near Baldock in Hertfordshire.
“The plant will be an excellent addition to Biogens expanding network of facilities”
Richard Barker, Biogen
The company also has several new facilities in the pipeline including an 11,000 tonne-a-year capacity AD facility near Caernarfon, North Wales, as part of its contract to treat food waste on behalf of Gwynedd council, while work is due to start shortly on a 22,500 tonne-a-year capacity plant near St Asaph under its 15-year contract with Denbighshire, Flintshire and Conwy councils, signed in November 2012 (see letsrecycle.com story).
Meanwhile, Biogen has been named as the preferred bidder to design, build and operate a 22,500 tonne-a-year food waste AD plant near Aberdare South Wales on behalf of Rhondda Cynon Taff, Merthyr Tydfil and Newport councils (see letsrecycle.com story).
The firm recently secured an investment of 24.4m from construction, services and property company Kier, allowing it to invest in new AD plants nationally with a target of having a further nine fully operational plants by 2017 (see letsrecycle.com story).