U.K.-based Emerald Biogas showcases new energy facility

By Chris Hanson | November 14, 2013

Emerald Biogas opened a new waste-to-energy plant at the Newton Industrial Estate in Northeast England.

The £8 million facility was constructed by Entec Biogas GmBH and will generate enough energy to power roughly 2,000 homes each year. “We were really pleased to be able to deliver this project on budget and on time, despite the challenges the weather brought this winter. The team has worked hard to ensure a successful commissioning phase and to enable the plant to start the next stage, processing waste and creating energy,” said Berhard Schulz, CEO of Entec.

The facility will process 50,000 metric tons of local food waste from supermarkets, fast food establishments, businesses and schools to generate 1.56 megawatts of electricity. In addition to power generation, the digestate will be applied to local farmland to improve soil condition and increase organic matter. Residual materials from the depackaging process will be sent to local recycling plants.

“I am delighted with the progress made in terms of getting the plant to this stage. It is fantastic to see it up and running, as this truly is a one of a kind facility in the North East and the first in the region to begin operating. We are now in the position to accept and process unwanted commercial food waste and employ the latest AD technology to create a valued commodity that will be extremely beneficial to the local business and farming community,” said Antony Warren, director of Emerald Biogas.

Emerald’s digester is currently in its first phase, and planning permission has been secured to expand capacity by four times. “We are all excited for the positive journey ahead, with expansion a strong possibility, as we would like to see Emerald Biogas reach its full potential in the near future,” said Warren.  

Funding for the project came from the Rural Development Program for England, which is jointly supported by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Derfa) and the European Union.