ReFood AD plant given green light in Widnes
Planning permission was granted yesterday (Monday 8th October) for a new industrial scale anaerobic digestion (AD) plant in Widnes. PDM, the UK’s largest food waste recycler, has been granted permission to build a 4MW AD plant on its existing rendering and renewable energy generation site on Desoto Road.
The development is the latest phase in PDM’s plan to expand its ReFood AD brand across the UK and the company has pledged to spend £40m building two new plants. Construction is due to commence in Widnes next month, with completion expected in late 2013.
With the capacity to handle 90,000 tonnes of commercial and domestic food waste, the £20m Widnes plant will generate enough energy for approximately 8,000 homes, as well as heat which will be used by its rendering operation on site and by adjacent businesses. The organic fertiliser produced will be used by farmers in the local area to grow new crops.
The new AD plant will create 40 new jobs in sales, operations, engineering, admin and finance. The company is now beginning the process of recruiting the commercial and operations teams.
PDM opened its first ReFood plant in Doncaster in September 2011, which has set the benchmark in AD plant construction and operation. The new plant at Widnes will have 50 per cent more capacity, with three combined heat and power (CHP) engines to convert the biogas produced during the AD process into renewable electricity.
Philip Simpson, commercial director at PDM, comments: “We’re delighted to have received permission to build the new facility on our Widnes site. While the site already operates rendering and biomass to energy plants, the AD plant will offer another sustainable solution to our portfolio in the North West. This development is the latest in our long standing commitment to developing the Widnes site to create a unique range of recycling and renewable energy services at a single location. This area is an important hub in terms of food manufacture and retail distribution, so it’s the ideal place to offer such treatments for the 10 million plus tonnes of food waste the UK generates.
“Demand for food waste recycling solutions is growing amongst businesses at every stage of the food chain. Our vision for ReFood is to develop a network of plants, providing food waste collection and recycling services to a 50 mile radius of the plant. It is the only service of its kind in the UK, offering customers reliable and cost effective collections, sanitised bins and safe, secure and sustainable processing.”