A 70,000 tonnes per year capacity commercial anaerobic digestion (AD) facility is expected to open in Gateshead this December.
Wardley Biogas is developing the facility, a joint venture between waste management company GAP Organics, renewable energy funding provider Privilege Finance and renewable energy developer EOS DevCo.
The plant will generate 600m3/hr of gas to be injected into the national grid, enough to heat 1,950 homes, the developers say. This will be sourced from food waste from businesses including restaurants and food manufacturers from across the region.
GAP Organics already collects food waste to supply smaller AD plants in the North East. However, it says that the opening of the new facility will reduce the road miles that the waste has to travel.
Paul Palmer, director at GAP Organics, said: “The expansion means over 50 more businesses in the region will be separating their food waste from their general waste, to be recycled into green gas, and we’ll be able to channel that food waste to the closest location where it’s needed, maximising efficiencies and reducing emissions.
“For one of our major clients in Newcastle, the daily journey travelled by their food waste will reduce, meaning at least 10,000 fewer miles in a year.”
Chris Negus – business development manager at Privilege Finance – said that companies which sent waste to the plant would benefit from lower waste disposal costs due to the reduced travel distances.
Mr Negus said: “We’re pleased to have funded over £17 million for this project as there are some real community benefits associated with it.
“Not only is the plant itself creating 12 new jobs, but the businesses providing the waste will benefit from reduced waste management costs, which will help to promote sustainable economic growth across the region.”