Ed Miliband opens UK’s first ReFood AD plant
The Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP today (9th September) opened the UK’s first ReFood anaerobic digestion (AD) plant at the PDM Group headquarters in Doncaster. The ReFood plant is a significant addition to PDM’s portfolio of recycling solutions for foodchain by-products.
PDM developed the £12 million plant in partnership with SARIA Bio-industries, which operates a network of ReFood plants across Europe.
With SARIA’s expertise, PDM has brought to the UK a more efficient and industrial-scale process, which has been built using a combination of UK and European construction expertise.
Today’s ceremony was attended by a number of key stakeholders from the local area and the plant was formally opened by the Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP, who tipped the first bin of food waste into the depackaging unit.
Doncaster North MP Ed Miliband said: “It’s fantastic that I’m able to open a state-of-the-art renewable-energy venture right here in Doncaster. The ReFood plant demonstrates the huge potential that exists for turning food and other household waste into renewable energy, which can then be used to heat and power thousands of homes. Plants like this are important in many ways – they provide employment and play a vital role in delivering energy savings for homes and businesses.”
The AD plant will handle 45,000 tonnes of food waste produced by local retailers, restaurants, food manufacturers and businesses. It will generate 2.8 MW/h of electricity and heat – enough to power around 5,000 homes, while the 40,000 tonnes of nutrient-rich fertiliser produced by the plant will be used by farmers across South Yorkshire.
The new facility has created 35 jobs at the company’s Doncaster headquarters. Furthermore, plans are underway to build a network of ReFood plants across the country, which will provide local recycling solutions for local food waste.
Paul Morris, operations director at PDM commented: “We’re delighted to have opened our first ReFood plant. This service complements PDM’s existing offering to the food chain and means that we can deliver a variety of localised, secure and sustainable solutions for food waste.
“We believe that for the UK to eradicate food waste from landfill, we require a nationwide network of AD plants, which handle the food waste produced in a small radius. Therefore, we are now looking at expanding the ReFood network across the UK to help deliver this crucial infrastructure.”