Severn Trent Water invests in £13m AD plant

Severn Trent Water has announced that it will be investing £13m in a new anaerobic digestion (AD) plant that will convert household food waste into energy.

According to the water company, the AD plant will be situated in Coleshill, Warwickshire. It will be the first of a number of plants the company plans to build across the Severn Trent region.

Severn Trent energy management general manager Mike Surrey said: “Just in our region, there’s 750 kilo tonnes of available food waste every year.At the moment, a lot of this just rots away in landfill, with no benefit to anyone.

“However, when we’ve built this new anaerobic digester we’ll be able to generate electricity to power our sites and sell the extra back to the grid. The great thing about this is that not only will it save Severn Trent a huge amount of money, it also helps to protect the environment.

“The Coleshill plant is currently being built and by the end of the year it should be converting up to 50,000 tonnes of food waste into energy and a high quality bio-fertiliser. This is energy that would otherwise have been wasted. Generating energy this way is not only great for our customers’ pockets, it’s also a great way of keeping down carbon emissions, and helping to protect the environment.

“And this is only just the beginning. Once the digester at Coleshill is up and running, we have ambitious plans to roll out food waste plants across the Severn Trent region, and we’re looking at where we’re going to put the next two plants right now. We’re already industry leaders for renewable energy and each of these plants is expected to generate about two per cent of Severn Trent Water’s energy needs.”

Severn Trent Water is working with AD specialist Agrivert to construct the plant.

The news comes as Agrivert announced that it officially opened a £11m AD plant in London earlier this week (3 June). It has partnered with waste management firm Grundon Waste Management to launch the facility.

Situated at Trumps Farm near Chertsey in Surrey, the plant will process around 45,000 tonnes of food and liquid waste each year from households and businesses across Surrey and Hertfordshire.

Agrivert chief executive Alexander Maddan said: “We are proud of this AD project and the increased accessibility to our industry-leading food waste recycling services it will bring.

“The new plant will offer much needed reliable capacity to local markets and we are delighted that large volumes of waste are already coming in from local sources such as Surrey and Kingston. Local plants such as this reduce the cost of waste collection and treatment and should provide an incentive for many businesses to recycle food waste.”

Grundon Waste Management chairman Norman Grundon added: “Our investment here today demonstrates our commitment to developing new waste innovations that can help our customers to achieve their environmental goals, including zero waste.

“With the Government widely expected to ban the disposal of food waste from landfill in the future, we have seen increased interest from our customers in the collection and recycling of food waste. The important environmental benefits of this service are evident.”

Liz Gyekye

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