Plans for two new ReFood AD plants

ReFood AD plant

Prosper De Mulder (PDM) has recently put in its formal applications for two new anaerobic digestion (AD) plants in Widnes and East London, as part of the ReFood network. ReFood is a business partnership run by the UK’s PDM group, which specialises in the collection and processing of byproducts from the livestock slaughter industry, and Germany’s Saria Bio-Industries.

The plans for the new plants, which were announced in January, are now open until 9 May for a public consultation that will determine whether the projects can go ahead. If the planning applications are granted, the plants are expected to create 80 new jobs and be up and running during 2013.

The facilities are each going to be twice the capacity of PDM’s recently completed AD plant at its Doncaster headquarters. The Widnes AD plant will join PDM’s other facilities and create food waste recycling hub that incorporates rendering, biomass to energy and anaerobic digestion.

The two new plants will cost around £40 million and will provide electricity, heat and nutrient-rich fertiliser from waste food. Each plant will produce four megawatts of electricity per hour and have a total capacity of 90,000 tonnes of food waste a year, mostly to be collected from retailers, households and restaurants.

"Not only is it a complete waste of a resource by letting it rot in landfill, capacity at these sites is falling fast and AD offers the ideal solution”, says Philip Simpson, Commercial Director at PDM. “Our AD plant in Doncaster is performing well, and we’re keen to keep the momentum going in developing our ReFood network to provide regional solutions for food waste across the UK."

If the plants are successful, ReFood hopes to further expand the AD network and is in the preliminary planning stages of three further sites.