Diamond opportunity for Emerald Biogas thanks to WRAP AD loan

10th August 2012

Plans for the North East’s first-ever commercial food waste anaerobic digestion facility took a major step forward this week with the news that Emerald Biogas has secured an £850k loan from WRAP.

The region currently creates around 800,000 tonnes of food waste but the area lacks organics processing facilities – and the additional financial support from the WRAP anaerobic digestion loan fund (ADLF) will help boost Emerald’s development plans.

In addition to the WRAP loan, Emerald Biogas has also secured finance of £3.3m from HSBC, and a Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) grant of £1.86m.

The first phase of the project, which begins later this month, will deliver 53,000 tonnes of food waste processing capacity. The plant will be built on an industrial site, with potential customers ’on hand’ to receive the heat output which the facility will generate.  The plant will also generate 1.4 megawatts, enough electricity to power up to 2,000 homes. A second phase of development should see the plant able to process 70,000 tonnes of food waste, with the output rising to 2.5 megawatts.

As well as producing heat and electricity, the new plant will also produce almost 47,000 tonnes of digestate, a by-product from the AD process, and this will be used as a biofertiliser for agricultural land.

Commented WRAP director Marcus Gover: “The north east has a strong food manufacturing sector but the food waste it currently produces is sent to landfill or for ‘rendering’ – which is an energy intensive measure.

“We’re delighted that the ADLF will be able to help Emerald Biogas build and commission a new, much-needed facility to serve this region.”

Ian Bainbridge, from Emerald Biogas, said: “Emerald Biogas is the first commercial plant of this size in the region and we are delighted to have secured the funding and support to realise the project.

“By harnessing our knowledge of the food waste, agricultural and renewable energy industries and our proven track record in terms of collection and recycling it was a natural progression for John Warren ABP and Agricore to diversify and use our expertise to create an AD facility capable of not only providing renewable energy but also digestate which can be utilised by the agricultural community.”

Emerald Biogas is the second company to benefit from the WRAP ADLF. In January this year, Malaby Biogas received an £800,000 loan towards its AD project in Wiltshire.

WRAP’s £10m ADLF was launched in July 2011 to support the development of a strong and vibrant AD industry and to address the gaps in infrastructure that currently exist.  Information about the loan fund and how to apply can be found here: http://www.wrap.org.uk/content/ad-loan-fund

WRAP’s vision is a world without waste, where resources are used sustainably. It works in partnership to help businesses, individuals and communities improve resource efficiency.

Established as a not-for-profit company in 2000, WRAP is backed by government funding from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.

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