Asda supplier opens food waste AD plant

A leading supplier to supermarket chain Asda has this week opened a 1.5MW anaerobic digestion (AD) facility that will be fuelled by food waste from its operations.

QV Foods, which supplies Asda with vegetable and potato products, opened the new AD site on Tuesday (6 May), at its headquarters and food-processing plant in HOlbeach, Lincolnshire.

The AD facility will take up to 30,000 tonnes of organic material per year, delivering power supply resilience and cost savings and producing a nutrient-rich biofertiliser to reduce QV Foods’ carbon footprint.

Cutting the ribbon on the new food waste-to-energy plant, Asda’s president and chief executive Andy Clarke said: “At Asda, doing business the right way is of the utmost importance. We take our responsibility to create innovative solutions to key environmental and social challenges seriously so we are always delighted to work with businesses like QV Foods which shares our beliefs.”

The AD facility was developed around the specific site requirements, dealing both with the vegetable trimmings and peelings arising at the site as well as to meet a significant electricity demand. The power requirements, including an overnight load for chilling warehouses, are well matched to the 24/7 generation by an AD facility. 

Closed loop

Duncan Worth, chairman of QV Foods and managing director of parent company AH Worth, explained that the ‘closed-loop’ process – whereby unavoidable food waste is used in the AD facility to generate electricity for the business and biofertiliser for the land – further enhances QV Food’s sustainability credentials.

“Working with Tamar Energy to develop an AD operation at our site made perfect sense,” said Worth. “Not only does it provide real financial benefits by putting us in control of our electricity supply and fertiliser production but it’s also a tangible demonstration of our sustainability commitment, with benefits we can pass on to our customers.”

Prime example

The plant is Tamar Energy’s third operational AD facility in its plan for a UK network of AD facilities generating 100MW of renewable energy from organic waste.

Greg Barker, Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change, also welcomed the new AD facility’s opening. “This is a great example of how local low-carbon generation can meet the energy needs of businesses,” said Barker. “Not only does it divert waste from landfill, but it also provides cost effective and secure low-carbon generation.

“In the coming years I hope to see even more businesses using anaerobic digestion and other renewable technologies to meet their energy needs.” 

Luke Nicholls

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