Yorkshire Water opens its first self-powered sewage works

Today (3 October), a grand opening will mark the completion of a £34m project enabling Yorkshire Water's sewage treatment site in Bradford to run entirely on sludge-generated biogas.

The plant will use advanced BioThelys technology to generate renewable biogas from 30,000 tonnes per year of sludge, producing enough heat and power for its entire 750 acre site.

The project, which took two years to finish, is expected to reduce Yorkshire Water’s carbon footprint by 9000 tonnes per year, saving the company £1.3m per year in energy costs.

The process

The waste coming into the plant goes through several stages to reduce it down to sludge which is then ‘pressure-cooked’ at 165oC, making it easier to capture biogas from. The resultant biogas is fed back through pipes and combusted in an engine to generate electricity and heat.

The process creates approximately 62,000 tonnes per year of by-product which is recycled back into Yorkshire Water’s agricultural industry as fertiliser.

Yorkshire Water’s chief executive Richard Flint said: “This is a massive step for us as a company and it is good news for the environment, the agriculture industry and also our customers because it will help us keep bills down.

“The technology being used on this site truly is some of the most cutting-edge around and it’s playing a major part in an 80% increase in the amount of renewable energy being generated by Yorkshire Water in the last year.”

The completion of the project follows the announcement last month of a £56m investment to help Yorkshire Water increase the production of renewable energy across its ‘top 11’ sites by 80%.

Lois Vallely

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