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Scotland announces plans to build biggest AD plant in country

Plans to built Scotland’s largest anaerobic digestion plant costing at least £15.5m have been announced.

To be situated at a former landfill site in Barkip, North Ayrshire, the facility will be capable of processing 75,000 tonnes of organic waste each year. In turn, this will generate 2.5MW of renewable electricity from capturing the biogas produced.

The project has been part-funded by energy firm Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE), which has invested £13.5m in the project. Zero Waste Scotland also gave £2.2m of funding from its Organics Capital Grants programme – its largest investment to date.

Scottish environment secretary Richard Lochhead said: “This major investment helps place anaerobic digestion at the heart of waste policy and emphasises the importance of renewable energy.  The £2.2 million grant to SSE demonstrates a robust commitment by the Scottish Government to invest in the future of a zero waste Scotland. 

“Today’s announcement is further evidence of our drive to produce clean renewable energy and stimulate economic growth through green jobs.”

SSE’s partner on the project, waste management firm William Tracey has signed a 25-year deal to supply the plant feedstock, which will be made up from 37,000 tonnes of food waste along with manures and organic effluent sludges. William Tracey managing director Michael Tracey said: “The signing represents a major step towards the William Tracey Group’s ambition to provide full resource recovery options, supplying yet another recycling outlet for customers and supporting Scotland’s zero waste agenda.”

SSE chief executive Ian Marchant said: “Biogas has the potential to be one of the most important new generations renewable and sustainable energy solutions available to us, capturing the energy contained in waste.  SSE is excited about entering the biogas market, which we believe offers opportunities beyond on-site electricity generation to include connections to the gas distribution network in the future.”

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