Malaby Biogas scoops first Defra loan for AD plant

Malaby Biogas (MB) has been awarded the first loan from a new £10m anaerobic digestion (AD) fund set up last year by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

The fund, administered by WRAP, provides MB with a one-off loan of £800,000, as well as equity investment and support from Clydesdale Bank to construct and commission a new AD plant.

Construction work has already started on the £5m plant, located south of Warminster, Wiltshire and MB anticipates commissioning will begin in March.

The plant is expected to generate 4.3m kWh of electricity a year and MB says about 7% of this is likely to be used to power the AD plant itself, with any excess being sold to the National Grid.

MB director Thomas Minter said the plant will initially process around 17,000 tonnes of waste a year, with the aim of reaching a full handling capacity of to 20,000 tonnes.

WRAP director Steve Creed, said: “Malaby is the first of what we hope will be a number of companies to benefit from the anaerobic digestion loan fund and it is excellent to see such good progress being made at the Wiltshire plant.

“We’re currently considering a number of other applications, and the new round of loan awards for 2012 has just begun, so we’d encourage anyone who is interested in the fund to get in touch with us.”

Defra Minister Lord Taylor added: “The energy that can be created from food waste that would otherwise lie rotting in landfill is astonishing. This £800,000 investment from our £10m anaerobic digestion fund will help this new plant to be built so we can harness that energy to power our towns and cities and remove a cause of greenhouse gas emissions form landfill.”

A maximum of £10m is available, through individual loans ranging from £50,000 – £1m, over a five-year period. Applications for the current round can be submitted before April 30.

More information on the fund can be found here.

Carys Matthews

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie