Willen Biogas has appointed Xergi to build and operate its new 27,000 tpa waste to energy plant in Enfield, North London. The Plant will generate renewable electricity for the grid and recycle nutrients from organic waste matter to make agricultural fertilizer
There is plenty of energy and essential nutrients in the large amounts of food waste produced each day by London's households, restaurants and food industry. Construction of this new biogas plant will extract the energy from a portion of the waste, while ensuring that the nutrients are recycled for agricultural land.
Instead of food waste ending up in landfills, as is the case today, recycling will help increase the share of renewable energy in the UK, and at the same time make agriculture production around London greener. The system thus contributes to the UK government's target to increase the recycling of waste in the UK.
The shareholders of Willen Biogas are Adrian Williams, Howard Williams, Brian Williams and Mark Lennon as well as Foresight Group’s (“Foresight”) two managed investment funds Foresight Environmental Fund (“FEF”) and UK Waste Resources and Energy Investments Fund (“UKWREI”) which it manages on behalf of the UK Green Investment Bank.
The Project developer, D. Williams & Co., also owns Cattlegate Farm in Enfield, where the biogas plant will be built. BDO has assisted during the development in arranging financing of the project.
”This project is a welcome addition to the growing waste to energy infrastructure that is supporting London in its ambition to become a world leader in waste and recycling. This is the second project where both the Foresight Environmental Fund (FEF) and the UK Waste Renewable Energy Investments (UKWREI) have invested alongside each other to provide the majority of the equity and the first where they have provided the full project capital needed,” says Nigel Aitchison, partner at Foresight.
”As a business we have always looked into diverse operations that compliment agriculture, respect the environment as well as trying to achieve government targets. With the location of the farm as close to the centre of one of the major population capitals of the world, we could see a huge potential for a food waste fed anaerobic digestion plant. Having done various amounts of research into the technology available for biogas plants Xergi gave us the confidence that we needed to commit to them for the building of our facility. It has been a long battle to go through the different aspects of achieving our goal for this project, but we are confident now we have all the right business partners in place and a very thorough team to carry out the build and operation of the facility,” says Adrian Williams, partner in D. Williams & Co.
Xergi has more than 25 years of experience in constructing biogas plants. During this time, the company has developed a robust biogas technology that extracts energy from many different types of organic waste and other biomass.
The contract involves Xergi delivering a turnkey-ready biogas plant to Willen Biogas. In addition, Xergi will be responsible for the commissioning of the plant and the subsequent operation for two years. This will involve Xergi establishing a new organisation to ensure efficient operation of the plant.
"We are proud that we now have the opportunity to help make London's food and energy production greener. Our technology is particularly suited to this task and we therefore look forward both to building the plant and the responsibility for operations," says Xergi CEO Jørgen Ballermann.
Among other features, the plant is equipped with a pre-treatment facility that sorts plastic residues from organic waste. The plant will also be built with an engine plant that can produce 1.5 MW of electricity, enough to power ca. 1750 households.
Construction began in August of this year and the biogas plant is forecast to become operational in May 2016.
WHAT IS ANAEROBIC DIGESTION?
Anaerobic Digestion (AD) is a process of waste vegetable matter or biodegradable material decomposing in an airtight vessel. Anaerobic bacteria digest the product resulting in Methane gas. The Methane is then used to create renewable energy.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
There are numerous benefits. The United Nations Development Programme has recognised AD as one of the most useful decentralised sources of energy supply with much less capital investment required than large power plants.