In brief: Energy-from-waste contract news

A leading anaerobic digestion firm has secured significant funding for a commercial food waste venture while plans to build an energy recovery plant in Buckinghamshire are under threat.

Emerald Biogas has secured an £850k loan from WRAP for the north east's first commercial food waste anaerobic digestion (AD) facility.

In addition to the WRAP loan, Emerald Biogas has also secured finance of £3.3m from HSBC, and a Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) grant of £1.86m.

The region currently creates around 800,000 tonnes of food waste, but the area lacks organics processing facilities. The first phase of the project will deliver 53,000 tonnes of food waste processing capacity.

The plant will be built on an industrial site, with potential customers 'on hand' to receive the heat output which the facility will generate. The plant will also generate 1.4MW, enough electricity to power up to 2,000 homes.

A second phase of development should see the plant able to process 70,000 tonnes of food waste, with the output rising to 2.5MW.

Meanwhile the Government's recent decision to award a 30-year contract to FCC Environment for treatment of waste across Buckinghamshire through energy recovery is set to be re-examined next week.

Councillor Michael Brand together with other council members requested further scrutiny of the decision through Buckinghamshire County Council's independent scrutiny procedures.

OSCC chair Lesley Clarke said: "The call-in process is an important part of the council's decision-making processes and ensures proper openness and transparency.

"Whilst the committee has no powers to veto the decision, it can, based on the evidence presented, decide whether there are grounds to refer the decision back to Cabinet or full council for further consideration."

The meeting will take place on 4 September in Aylesbury. Following a public session in the morning, the committee is expected to move into a confidential session in the afternoon, before reconvening in public again to announce its final decision.

Maxine Perella


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