Grundon invests £5m in Agrivert AD plant

Grundon Agrivert

(L-R): Harry Waters, Agrivert's Commercial Director and Neil Grundon, Deputy Chairman of Grundon Waste Management.

Grundon Waste Management has agreed to provide anaerobic digestion (AD) company Agrivert with a £5 million shareholder loan to help fund a new AD plant in Surrey. 

The remaining £11 million needed for the development has been covered by SQN Capital Management. 

Construction has already begun on Agrivert’s new plant at Trumps Farm, Surrey, and is expected to come online in ‘spring 2014’. 

Plant details 

Once fully operational, the plant is expected to be capable of annually processing 50,000 tonnes of municipal and commercial food waste from Surrey and its surrounding areas, generating 2.3 megawatts (MW) of renewable electricity ­– enough to supply around 4,000 homes. 

The Surrey plant will be Agrivert’s third AD facility in England, and its first plant outside of Oxfordshire, following its 2.1MW AD plant at Cassington (which opened in 2010) and its 2.3MW plant at Wallingford, which officially opened on Friday (17 May). 

Managing Director of Agrivert James Astor said: “We are very pleased to have raised funding for this important project. We believe that Agrivert is extremely well positioned to take advantage of the significant opportunity in the UK AD market and are delighted to be maintaining the momentum of our AD plant rollout.” 

Gundon to supply ‘significant’ feedstock 

The loan marks Grundon’s increased interest in processing food waste, after it launched a food waste service across the Thames Valley area. 

Grundon’s Deputy Chairman Neil Grundon said: “We see a big future in food waste, which is why we have made this investment. We have a good working relationship with Agrivert and a real respect for its business, so we are delighted to be part of this exciting new project. 

“At the same time, our customers will benefit because having an AD facility closer to London means we can further extend the services we provide.” 

Currently, the 6,000 tonnes of food waste collected by Grundon every year is typically processed at Agrivert’s Cassington and Wallingford plants, where it is broken down into biofertiliser and also used to produce biogas for the production of electricity and/or heat. 

Grundon is expected to supply a ‘significant quantity’ of feedstock to the new plant. 

UK’s ‘first’ food recycling reward scheme 

The news of Agrivert’s AD expansion follows just a month after the company launched the UK’s ‘first’ food recycling reward scheme

Under the scheme, run in association with recycling rewards company Recyclebank, residents in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead can earn points for putting out their food waste for collection. Points can later be redeemed as offers and discounts in both national and local shops, businesses and leisure centres.  

The project has been funded by a grant of £566,000 from Eric Pickles’s Weekly Collection Support Scheme.