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Avonmouth food waste plant to generate green power

05 December 2012

Bristol’s first food waste anaerobic digestion (AD) plant has officially been opened by Defra minister David Heath. The plant which will produce enough renewable energy to power around 3,000 homes is operated by Wessex Water subsidiary GENeco will treat 40,000 tonnes food waste from homes, supermarkets and businesses across the south west – preventing it from going to landfill.

Based at Bristol sewage treatment works in Avonmouth, the plant can produce 10 GWh of energy a year from biogas generated through anaerobic digestion treatment – a process in which bugs break down biodegradable material to produce methane gas.

Charlotte Morton, ADBA, chief executive, said: “This is an excellent example of the entrepreneurial potential of the UK’s water sector, demonstrating just how much can be produced from our waste food through anaerobic digestion, not only helping Wessex Water to significantly reduce its carbon footprint but also making a valuable contribution to improving the UK’s energy and food security.

“ADBA looks forward to seeing many more businesses across a variety of sectors following the lead of GENeco and Wessex Water in improving the sustainability of their operations whilst making the most from their food waste through anaerobic digestion.

“AD has the potential to deliver 10% of the UK’s domestic gas demand, with remarkably 60% of this coming from the food waste we have historically sent to landfill.

“It is projects like these that will help to build the UK’s reputation as a world leader in the digestion of food waste – and what’s particularly exciting is that we can all help in this by supporting separate food waste collections.”

Mohammed Saddiq, general manager, GENeco, said:
“Anaerobic digestion has a huge role to play in the closed loop economy and the new facility at Avonmouth is an excellent demonstration of that, taking local food waste and generating extremely low carbon energy and a quality fertiliser to return to food production.

“I am very pleased to be joined by Defra Minister David Heath and the chief executive of the Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association to open the plant.”

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