First AD facility underway for Welsh Assembly food waste drive

TEG Environmental and Alkane Energy have been awarded preferred bidder status for the first anaerobic digestion (AD) plant to be created under the Welsh Government's programme for local authorities to recycle household food waste.

TEG consortium will build a £7.5M facility to provide a recycling service to three councils, known as the North East Wales Hub. The hub comprises Denbighshire County Council, Flintshire County Council and Conwy County Borough Council. The Welsh Assembly will contribute £1.4M towards the total cost of the project.

The planned site is a former abattoir at Rhuallt, near St Asaph. The plant will have the capacity to process 20,000 tonnes of food waste per year, with at least 11,000 tonnes of this coming from the hub councils.

The remainder of the waste will come from other local authorities and businesses that generate food waste. Planning and environmental permit applications are expected to be submitted this autumn and if these are successful, construction will commence in the spring of 2012 with the facility becoming operational the following year.

The site is expected to generate nearly 1MW of renewable power, sufficient for approximately 2,000 homes as well as providing all requirements to run the site itself. The plant will also provide around 19,000 tonnes of organic fertiliser.

TEG and Alkane will form a joint venture company for the project – NEAT Biogas – with TEG owning a 70% share and Alkane 30%. NEAT will fund and operate the facility, which is expected to bring in revenues of approximately £2M per annum during the 15-year contract term.

TEG and Alkane will supply all plant and equipment to NEAT Biogas, which will operate and maintain the facility. The TEG Group subsidiary NOFCO will manage the placement of the fertiliser under a separate sub-contract.

Denbighshire County Council’s lead member for environment, Cllr Sharon Frobisher, said: “The facility is a vital piece in the jigsaw to enable us to recycle even more food waste from our households.”

Alkane’s chief executive, Neil O’Brien, added: “This move into AD strengthens our clean tech credentials. The Alkane/TEG collaboration deal is proving its worth combining our heritage in waste management and energy generation. There is a strong match of the skills of the two teams and we continue to work on a number of other AD projects.”

Maxine Perella

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