130m Recycling & Autoclave AD Biogas Plant for Wakefield

Shanks Group is to build a build a residual waste treatment facility at South Kirkby, Yorkshire that will include an autoclave assisted anaerobic digestion plant to produce biogas, as well as recycling, composting and refuse derived fuel capabilities. According to Shanks (LSE: SKS) the 25 year PFI contract which it has signed with Wakefield Council is worth an estimated £750 million. Under the contract, Shanks said that it will build the facility which will process and recycle waste from the Wakefield District to produce valuable products and green energy. The facility will process up to 230,000 tonnes per annum of municipal solid waste (MSW), which the company said will help to increase the local authority's landfill diversion rate towards 90%. Technology Shanks explained that a variety of materials will be segregated from incoming wastes for recycling, and the facility will also produce a refuse derived fuel (RDF) for processing at a multi-fuel plant being built at the Ferrybridge Power Station for energy recovery. The company added that a separate onsite materials recycling facility (MRF) will separate out the clean mixed recyclate materials for use by specialist markets. The remaining organic waste will be treated using a state-of-the-art autoclave, which the company claimed has already been built and undergone rigorous testing. The autoclave process will sterilise the remaining material before it is fed into a 65,000 tonnes per annum anaerobic digestion (AD) plant, where it will be converted into biogas for renewable energy generation. The energy generated will be used both to power the plant and for export to the grid. The company estimated that it will generate sufficient energy to power approximately 3000 homes. The residue from the AD process will be used as a nutrient-rich soil conditioner. Green waste delivered to the facility will be processed via an enclosed air controlled composting plant. The company said that the final compost material will be used for improving land remediation schemes across the Wakefield district as well as the wider market and a proportion will be made available for use by the Wakefield district's residents. In addition to the various technologies on site, Shanks said that it will also take over a network of Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs), transfer stations and bring sites within the Wakefield district, as well as building a Visitors Centre at the South Kirkby site, to be used for the purpose of waste education and the promotion of waste minimisation. Funding The contract has been funded by the UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) and a group of leading international banks; Barclays, BayernLB from Germany and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation from Japan. The GIB said that it will provide up to £30.4 million of senior debt to the project on commercial terms alongside a banking syndicate of leading international banks; BayernLB, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, and Barclays Bank which together are providing a total of £121.7 million. The contract will see approximately 250 people recruited to work on construction of the new facilities and a further 60 permanent positions created, making a significant contribution to the local economy. "The UK Green Investment Bank is committed to reducing the amount of waste which goes to landfill, supporting the UK in its transition to a low carbon economy, whilst driving a commercial return for the bank," commented Lord Smith of Kelvin , Chair of the UK Green Investment Bank. "Each year the UK generates approximately 190 million tonnes of waste, which causes environmental damage and costs businesses and consumers money," he added. A long time coming According to Peel Hunt, an independent and full-service broking and advisory house with an exclusive focus on UK mid and small caps, the contract has been a long time coming. The broker explained that VT Group had been named as preferred bidder back in November 2007, when financial close had been hoped for summer 2008 and subsequently postponed until late 2010. In October 2011 an agreement was signed for a contract completion date in February 2012. The VT Group was acquired by Babcock Group plc in July 2010 and Babcock became the lead partner. According to Wakefield Council, following a review of the former VT Group business Babcock strengthened its preferred bidder consortium by the appointment of Shanks Group in February 2011 with Shanks taking the lead role. "It has been a long journey and at times challenging, but throughout the negotiations we have never lost sight of the need for additional finance to deliver a waste management system for the future," explained Joanne Roney OBE, chief executive of Wakefield Council. "This is a big step forward in how a key public service is delivered in the District. The agreement means investment in household waste collection and recycling and more jobs for the District," she added. Read More BIOGEN to Build 45,000 tpa Food Waste to Biogas Plant in Hertfordshire Bedfordshire based Anaerobic digestion specialist, BIOGEN is to build a biogas facility which will treat 45,000 tonnes of food waste per year in Hertofordshire. 15tph Biowaste to Fertiliser Gasification Project Secures Land in Florida Jan 10, 2013 Doral, Florida based BioNitrogen, which utilises gasification technology to convert biomass into urea fertiliser, has acquired approximately 600 acres of land. 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