Yorkshire Water eyes 15% emissions reduction with giant AD plant

Water service provider Yorkshire Water has been given the go-ahead to build a £72m state-of-the-art anaerobic digestion (AD) plant at its Knostrop works in the centre of Leeds.

The facility, which is set to be completed in 2019, will process 131 tonnes of dry sludge every day, generating 55% of the site’s energy requirements and helping to achieve 94% recycling of the region’s sludge by 2020.

For Yorkshire Water, the AD plant will contribute to a 15% reduction in carbon emissions across the company and deliver “significant operational cost savings”.

Yorkshire Water’s director of asset management Nevil Muncaster said: “This is the single biggest investment of our current investment period (2015-2020) and will not only provide increased treatment capacity for our sludge but will also deliver significant operational cost savings enabling us to keep customer bills as low as possible.

“Knostrop is designated as a strategic waste site so by increasing the future sludge and bio-solid treatment capacity of the works the project will support also growth in the Leeds sub-regions.”

On-site solution

The bio-energy facility has been approved by the Leeds City Council Planning Committee and the contract awarded to global engineering and construction firms Black & Veatch and Clugston Construction limited.

The new plant will be replacing an existing sludge and bio-solid incinerator constructed in 1993 and will enable more efficient sewage treatment as well as the ability to produce energy on-site.

The project is the latest step in Yorkshire Water’s commitment to invest in renewable energy to benefit the environment and keep customers’ bills low, and supports Leeds Council’s ambition for the Lower Aire Valley to become a hub for green energy and industry. Yorkshire Water intends to generate approximately 18% of the area’s energy needs by 2020.

In related news this week, the North Yorkshire town of Middlesbrough is set for a 5MW waste-to-energy facility which will recycle more than 100,000 tonnes of organic waste every year using the AD process.

The Ad plant, situated in Imperial Park, is part of an agreement between CooperOstlund and BioConstruct, and will generate enough renewable energy to power 10,000 homes across the region.

Alex Baldwin

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