HRH The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay, officially opened SSE’s innovative Anaerobic Digestion (AD) plant at Barkip near Beith in North Ayrshire today.
His Royal Highness toured the innovative plant and met a number of SSE staff and invited industry guests who are all involved in helping to achieve Scotland’s waste reduction ambitions. The visit concluded with HRH officially opening the plant.
Barkip is the largest combined organic waste treatment and energy generating facility in Scotland. The plant can process up to 75,000 tonnes of organic waste annually and produce 2.2MW of renewable electricity from the biogas produced, enough to power approximately 5,500 homes. The fully operational facility is one of the most technologically advanced in the UK and has a major role to play in meeting Scotland’s renewable energy production and waste recycling targets.
Barkip takes in food waste and other organic matter from industries such as agriculture, food production, food retail and alcohol production. This waste is then broken down by bacteria to produce biogas. The methane rich biogas is combusted in gas engines to generate electricity. The residual material forms a nutrient rich digestate, a liquid suitable for use as a fertiliser in agriculture. Barkip is a truly sustainable zero-waste solution for organic wastes and can divert a staggering 37,000 tonnes of food waste from landfill each year.
The operation of Barkip is managed by Zebec Biogas Limited on SSE’s behalf and they also provide the biological process expertise. Zero Waste Scotland invested £2.2 million in the Barkip project from their Organics Capital Grants Programme.
SSE’s Director of Thermal Development, Rhys Stanwix, said: ‘We were delighted to welcome His Royal Highness to the state of the art AD plant at Barkip which is a source of real pride to all at SSE. We want to see the plant continue to play a crucial role in waste reduction. Working with local authorities, large-scale industrial organic waste producers and local businesses and farmers we can make a real difference to waste levels and produce renewable electricity and a quality fertiliser while doing so. Barkip is a real sustainable success story.’
Zero Waste Scotland’s Director Iain Gulland said ‘New Waste (Scotland) Regulations, passed by the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday (9th May), will prohibit biodegradable materials, like food waste, from being sent to landfill by 2021. The regulations will also drive an increase in recycling rates by requiring businesses and councils to provide separate collections for key recyclable materials, including paper and card, plastic, glass, metals, and in most cases, food waste too.
Meeting our target to achieve a 70% recycling rate by 2025 will transform our waste into a stock of resources, and reprocessing these in Scotland can create new business markets and give our economy a boost. Recycling food waste creates green energy and fertiliser, two valuable bi-products.
Investing in reprocessing facilities, like Barkip, for food waste and a range of other recyclable materials is a key part of Zero Waste Scotland’s work to unlock economic opportunities for Scotland. We are also supporting the roll-out of food waste collections to homes and businesses with £8million available this year.’
Chief Executive of Zebec Biogas Limited, Martin Gorevan, said: ‘Zebec are proud to have worked for SSE on the delivery of Barkip AD plant and are looking forward to supporting the on-going operations. Enthusiasm in Scotland towards resource efficiency and sustainable energy production is gathering momentum with SSE’s AD plant central to this development. Working for SSE, Zebec are proud to be part of this movement.’