AD capacity set to strengthen with flurry of contract activity

Anaerobic digestion has undergone a growth spurt in recent weeks, with several facilities coming on-stream or in the process of being built, suggesting an uplift in the sector.

Leading players in this field are adding capacity to their portfolios, with the north of England and Wales in particular benefiting.

PDM has started build work on its second industrial scale anaerobic digestion (AD) plant under its ReFood brand. The 4.2MW plant will be sited on PDM’s existing renewable energy generation site in Widnes and will have capacity to handle 90,000 tonnes of commercial and domestic food waste.

The company announced plans to invest £40min its ReFood operations last year and, in addition to the Widnes site, which is expected to be completed in late 2013, plans for a third plant in London are also underway.

Meanwhile the Ros Roca Imtech Joint Venture has been awarded a contract worth £10m for an AD biogas plant in Wakefield by Shanks. The facility forms part of a planned waste treatment park at South Kirkby which will receive and treat up to 230,000 tonnes per year of the authority’s waste.

Shanks has also awarded 4R Recycling a 25-year contract with to process digestate produced by the facility proposed as part of the Wakefield PFI contract. This will see 4R handle up to 40,000 tonnes of digestate annually when the facility becomes operational, expected mid-2015.

Over in Wales, Biogen has been named preferred bidder for a contract to build and operate what will be its third AD plant in the country.

The appointment – made by the Tomorrow’s Valley Hub led by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and including Merthyr Tydfil and Newport City Councils – is for a 15-year contract for the build and operation of a 22,500 tonnes facility.

It will process both household and commercial food waste, and subject to planning permission, is expected to be operational by mid-2014.

Maxine Perella

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