BIOGEN to build Edinburgh AD plant

BIOGEN has signed a deal with the city of Edinburgh and Midlothian Councils to design and build an anaerobic digestion (AD) plant in Midlothian as part of Scotland’s Zero Waste Project.

The AD plant, which will be based in Millerhill, is expected to process 30,000 tonnes of waste per year. The waste will be made up of household food waste, collected by local authorities, and food waste from commercial sources in the region.

It is hoped that this will generate around 1.4 megawatts of renewable energy for the grid, sufficient to power between 1,500 and 2,000 households, and also produce a valuable biofertiliser for farmland. This is expected to help Scotland reach its target of recycling 70 per cent of household waste by 2025.

Previously, food waste collected from Edinburgh and Midlothian residents was taken to Scottish Water Horizons Deerdykes AD facility in Cumbernauld.

Zero Waste Scotland has claimed that the new facility will ‘provide a secure, long-term solution for treating food waste collected by partner councils at a competitive price and help achieve higher recycling rates, in line with national targets set out in the Scottish government’s Zero Waste Plan’.

The project will see BIOGEN, a joint venture between Kier and Bedfordia, join forces with Alauna Renewable Energy (ARE), itself a special purpose vehicle set up by Kelda Water Services and Scottish Water Horizons. ARE was selected in March to manage the development of the Edinburgh and Midlothian Food Waste Treatment Project at Midlothian.

According to BIOGEN, once the construction of the plant is completed, it will be operated by Kelda Organic Energy (KEO) under subcontract from ARE.

Work on the site is planned to begin in February 2014, with the AD plant expected to produce electricity by Autumn 2015 and be handed over to ARE by 31 December 2015.

BIOGEN has contracted Barhale Plc to manage the civil engineering element of the build.

“Valuable contribution”

Richard Barker, BIOGEN’s Chief Executive, said: "We are proud to be partnering Alauna Renewable Energy and the City of Edinburgh and Midlothian Councils in this project. The construction of the plant will make a valuable contribution to the Scottish Government’s aim to reduce the amount of waste, including food waste, sent to landfill by 2017. This project is another welcome addition to BIOGEN’s extremely strong pipeline across the UK.”

A mechanical/biological treatment facility to treat residual waste, and an energy-from-waste plant to recover value from non-recyclable refuse derived fuel produced by the MBT facility have also been proposed by Edinburgh and Midlothian’s Zero Waste Project.

Read more about the Zero Waste Project.