Food waste anaerobic digestion facility under construction at UK's Bristol Sewage Treatment works

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The new anaerobic digestion facility will transform solid and liquid food waste into renewable energy and nutrient rich fertiliser.

Dec. 6, 2011 -- A state of the art food waste processing facility that will have the capacity to receive up to 40,000 tonnes of food waste per year is now under construction at the Bristol Sewage Treatment works in Avonmouth.

GENeco's food waste anaerobic digestion treatment facility will transform solid and liquid food waste into renewable energy and nutrient rich fertiliser. At full capacity the plant will be capable of supplying the energy needs for around 3,000 homes.

This exciting new development will be the first large scale food waste treatment facility in the Bristol and surrounding area. It will offer supermarkets, local authorities, food manufacturing organisations, hospitals universities, catering establishments and waste management companies a cost effective and sustainable solution for treating their packaged and unpackaged food and catering waste.

The plant will begin accepting food waste deliveries from autumn 2012.

Mohammed Saddiq, GENeco's General Manager, said "Since the creation of GENeco we have been working very hard to respond to our customer's needs for a local solution that offers a cost effective, robust and sustainable alternative to landfill. Our parent company Wessex Water has been digesting sewage sludge for over 40 years and this plant builds on the group's considerable wealth of expertise in harnessing renewable energy through anaerobic digestion. It follows in the footsteps of the launch last year of our incredibly successful Bio-Bug "poo-powered" car; which attracted international interest in our use of anaerobic digestion as a means of delivering renewable energy and transport solutions."

Construction
A contract has now been placed with Finning for delivery of the food waste plant with construction starting on site in earnest in December 2011. Plant design and process engineering technology will be provided by Monsal with Civil Engineering provided by Damar.

The GENeco food waste plant is based on the Monsal plant design in Deerdykes Scotland which is one of only two plants in the UK to have successfully obtained the PAS 110 certification for the digestate end product. This certification serves as a quality hallmark for the fertiliser produced at the end of the process and offers farmers independent reassurance that the digestate has been converted from a waste into a soil conditioning product.

GENeco engineers spent a considerable amount of time evaluating technology solutions on offer across Europe. The Monsal solution was chosen for its robust design and successful proven operation in the UK on a diverse range of feedstock. Monsal has a longstanding track record of producing anaerobic digestion solutions in the UK and has recently completed the construction of an advanced acid phase enzymic hydrolysis digestion plant for sewage sludge at Bristol Sewage Treatment Works. The process optimises the conditions for sewage sludge digestion in two separate vessels; thereby optimising gas production and making it one of the most efficient digesters in the country.

Aidan Cumiskey, Monsal Managing Director said " We have worked with Wessex Water to optimise the digestion plant on site which now reliably delivers about 4 MWe from Biogas using our Advanced Digestion solution. The additional food waste digestion infrastructure that we will deliver is now going to expand the site capabilities for treatment of commercial food waste. This is a major innovation for the water industry and represents a glimpse of the future with water utilities taking a more prominent role in food waste recycling, building on their track record of renewable energy generation. "

The combination of Advanced Anaerobic Digestion (AAD) for sewage sludge and food waste digestion solutions at these super AD centres represents a clear business synergy and optimal use of infrastructure. We expect other water companies now to adopt this approach and create significant non-regulated business growth. Monsal will play a lead role in implementing this in the UK."

Julian Okoye, GENeco's Business development Manager, said "We are really excited about the construction of our food waste treatment facility. Our Avonmouth site is an excellent location for our customers with easy access from Bristol as well as the M4 and M5 motorway network. The site has a longstanding track record of offering competitive treatment services for commercial liquid organic waste to some of the best customer service standards in the industry. We have seen significant interest in the GENeco food waste development from across the South West region and even into Wales."

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