The proposed facility will sit on Suez’s existing resource recovery plant, which currently houses a waste transfer station, ancillary infrastructure and regional offices.
Suez also has permission for a 500,000 tonnes per year energy from waste (EfW) plant on the site, the plans for which have been put on hold “due to a recent change in market conditions”
The company explained that it will decide which one to proceed with, if approved, when “government policy on food waste collections and market conditions are clearer”.
John Wilkinson, regional director at Suez recycling and recovery UK, said: “Whilst we have planning permission for an energy recovery centre on the site, we are also working on plans for an AD facility to process food waste. If planning permission was to be granted for an anaerobic digester we would then be well placed to move forward quickly when government policy and market conditions are clearer to build the most appropriate facility to meet Blackburn with Darwen’s future needs.”
Building the AD plant would also be in line with upcoming government policy that is set to mandate separate food waste collections.
The proposed AD plant is set to comprise of a reception building, five digester tanks and several other smaller tanks.
The addition of the AD plant and waste transfer station with “more efficient use of space” would mean that the amount of waste processed would increase without the resource recovery park expanding.
The waste firm said that subject to the council’s approval, government policy and market conditions, construction of the AD plant is expected to begin in 2023, with operation expected to commence in 2025.
It outlined that following the public consultation, its next step will be the submission of its planning application to Blackburn with Darwen council, expected this autumn.
After the application has been submitted, views can also be submitted directly to the council, Suez explained.