ADBA launches new AD certification scheme at annual conference
The Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association (ADBA) will today (7 December) launch its new AD Certification Scheme (ADCS) at its National Conference 2017 in Westminster.
The voluntary, industry-led scheme has been designed to support operators of anaerobic digestion (AD) facilities to improve their operational, environmental and health and safety performance, focusing on improving energy generation and digestate quality.
There is already a breadth of existing regulation and standards out there on AD, but ADBA says that the ADCS aims to provide a benchmark for operational excellence and a process whereby AD operators can gain recognition of progress through an independent audit process, demonstrating their credibility to investors and insurers.
The scheme was given the go-ahead after a successful pilot carried out in September this year involving one on-farm plant, one food waste plant and one on-site plant for a food manufacturer.
All AD operators are eligible to apply for certification, save for those working in the sewage treatment sector or those working with the co-digestion of food waste and sewage sludge. The certification process is likely to take between six to eight weeks.
While only operational plants can be certified, the ADBA encourages those operators whose plants are still in the planning stage or under construction to use the scheme criteria to inform decision-making.
Application fees range from £1,200 to £5,000 depending on a plant’s annual throughput (£1,200 for plants with a throughput of up to 14,999 tonnes of digestate and £5,000 for those with a throughput of more than 50,000 tonnes and upwards), while annual renewal fees range from £600 to £2,500.
Commenting on the launch, ADBA Chief Executive Charlotte Morton said: “A certification process is essential to ensuring that regulators, insurers and investors have confidence in the scheme, which offers AD operators a range of financial and regulatory benefits.
“Through our existing work with the AD industry, it is clear that operators, engineers, technology suppliers and developers are constantly seeking ways to optimise their performance. Through this new scheme, we hope to reflect industry developments, provide information on how plants and suppliers can improve, and help them overcome the key barriers to good performance. We look forward to working with AD operators to support them in building and running their AD plants to high standards.”
Susan Relf, Compliance Director at Agrivert, one of the operators involved in the pilot phase of the scheme,added: "As the owners and operators of five AD plants recycling over a quarter of a million tonnes of food waste across the UK, we found our involvement in the pilot phase of the AD Certification Scheme to be very useful in providing a check and reassurance that our plants were meeting consistent, high operational standards across the board.
“The fact that the scheme reflects existing ISO standards also allows straightforward integration with existing standards and schemes. Agrivert welcomes the launch of the AD Certification Scheme and supports its aim to drive up operational, health and safety, and environmental standards across the UK AD industry.”
You can find out more about the ADCS on the scheme’s website.