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Shanks to double capacity of Scottish AD facility

Shanks Group is expanding the capacity its Cumbernauld anaerobic digestion (AD) plant in anticipation of an increase in food waste collections when new rules come into force in January 2016.

Energen Biogas, the joint venture between Shanks and Paragon Efficiencies, plans to increase the facility’s annual capacity from 60,000 to 100,000 tonnes at a cost of £5m.

When works are completed in April 2015, the Cumbernauld plant will become Scotland’s largest AD facility.

The Waste (Scotland) Regulations, which came into force on 1 January 2014, only required businesses producing more than 50kg a week to separate food waste. But from 1 January 2016 any business which produces more than 5kg of food waste a week will also need to present it separately for collection.

The rules will also ban the use of macerators to discharge food waste into public sewers. Meanwhile, local authorities must also offer food waste collection services in non-rural areas.

After the expansion, the Cumbernauld plant will treat organic waste from local authorities, retailers and food waste producers, and generate up to 4.8 MW of renewable electricity every hour.

Approximately 1800m³ of biogas per hour will be utilised to produce the electricity, which will be exported to the National Grid. The energy will cater for around 50,000 local people in around 12,000 homes each year.

Robert Etherson, operations director at Energen Biogas, said: “By expanding our facility we are able to significantly grow the renewables industry in Scotland and improve resource efficiency.

“Scotland’s vision where all waste is seen as a resource is one we are firmly aligned with and we are pleased we can contribute to making a Zero-Waste Scotland a reality.”

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