Bedfordshire, UK based Anaerobic Digestion (AD) developer, Biogen has officially opened its seventh, and largest food waste recycling plant near Atherstone in Warwickshire.
The Merevale biogas plant is expected to process 45,000 tonnes of waste food from household and commercial sources each year and generate 2MW of green electricity for the national grid.
The company said that with the latest addition its network of seven AD plants together recycle a 250,000 tonnes of food waste every year and produce 100 GWh of electricity, as well as liquid fertiliser for farmland.
The opening was performed by Lord Henry Plumb, former president of both the European Parliament and the National Farmers Union.
“It’s fascinating to look back and think that six hundred men were digging coal from under the site of the plant where eight men are now producing energy from the products of waste which would otherwise have been going into landfill,” he noted.
As part of the ceremony, certificates were presented to the company by CEEQUAL (the evidence-based sustainability assessment, rating and awards scheme for civil engineering) for both the Merevale site and Biogen’s Bygrave plant near Baldock in Hertfordshire.
The company explained that they were awarded in recognition for the way the design and build of the two plants has “improved sustainability in civil engineering, infrastructure, landscaping and the public realm”.
Among the certificates and awards Biogen has received is the PAS 110 certification which is held by all seven plants including Merevale.
Awarded by the Biofertiliser Certification Scheme, the certification provides assurance to consumers, farmers, food producers and retailers that the digestate produced from AD is safe and fit for spreading to farmland as a replacement for chemical fertilisers.
Biogen Chairman, John Ibbett added, “The unveiling of Merevale, our 7th AD plant, is a significant milestone in our ten year history. Biogen has been at the forefront of the food waste AD sector since its inception.”
“I am so grateful to the team of people who have made it all possible and it is a real credit to everyone who has been involved along the way,” he continued.
Andrew Chisem, director for Rolton Group, which worked on the engineering for the project, commented: “Rolton Group has been working with Biogen on various projects since 2007 and our engineering teams thoroughly enjoyed using their expertise to help create this state-of-the-art AD plant.”
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