Wales welcomes first certified biofertiliser plant
Food waste management firm Biogen has become Wales' first producer of certified biofertiliser at its anaerobic digestion (AD) plant near Caernarfon.
The GwyriAD plant converts food waste into renewable electricity and a co-product called digestate. Biogen can now refer to the digestate as 'certified biofertiliser', having achieved accreditation under the Biofertiliser Certification Scheme from Renewable Energy Assurance Limited (REAL).
"This project is an exemplar for the industry," said REAL's certification manager Ciaran Burns.
"Working together, the Welsh Government, WRAP Cymru and Biogen have delivered a plant which ideally meets the needs of the local authority whilst deriving maximum economic and environmental benefit from the food waste inputs.
"This project sets the standard for others in Wales to follow".
Fit for purpose
The biofertiliser certification demonstrates compliance with the PAS 110 specification, which means that the biofertiliser derived from the AD process 'is of consistent quality and fit for purpose'. Farmers across the UK are increasingly looking to biofertiliser as a cost-effective, environmentally friendly alternative to fossil-based fertilisers imported from overseas.
The GwyriAD plant, which will also turn 11,000 tonnes of food waste per year into green electricity for 700 homes, is Biogen's third to achieve the industry certification. Of the 50 food waste AD plants currently operating in the UK, only 18 of these have achieved PAS 110 so far.
Biogen's chief executive Julian O'Neill said: "We are delighted that GwryiAD has become our third AD plant to achieve PAS 110. The fact that the biofertiliser produced by our plants can now be defined as a product rather than a waste can only help boost confidence in our AD process with our partners in the farming community."
The plant opened in April this year and was developed as part of the Wales Procurement Programme. The Welsh Government provided £2.4m of funding to the Programme, with the aim of developing a network of AD plants across Wales to make it easier for local authorities to recycle their food waste.