Organic waste specialists Teg Environmental and energy company Alkane Energy have been awarded preferred bidder status for the first anaerobic digestion (AD) plant to be created under the Welsh Government’s programme for local authorities to recycle food waste into electricity and fertiliser.
The Teg consortium will build a £7.5m facility to provide a recycling service to three councils, known as the North East Wales Hub. The hub comprises Denbighshire County Council, Flintshire County Council and Conwy County Borough Council and is the first of seven Welsh hubs to have identified a partner to build an AD plant. The Welsh Government will put £1.4m towards the total cost of the project.
The plant will have the capacity to process 20,000 tonnes of food waste per year, with at least 11,000 tonnes per year coming from the three councils in the hub and the remainder from other local authorities and businesses.
Planning and environmental permit applications are expected to be submitted this autumn and, if successful, construction will commence in spring 2012 with the facility becoming operational in 2013.
The planned site, a former abattoir at Rhuallt, near St Asaph, is expected to generate nearly 1MW of renewable power, sufficient for around 2,000 homes and all requirements to run the site itself. It will also provide around 19,000 tonnes of organic fertiliser.
Teg and Alkane will form a joint venture company for the project, NEAT Biogas Limited, with Teg owning 70% of the company and Alkane 30%. NEAT will fund and operate the facility, expected to bring in revenues of approximately £2m per annum during the contract term of 15 years.
Teg chief executive Mick Fishwick said he was “extremely pleased” to have been awarded the contract. While Denbighshire County Council lead member for environment councillor Sharon Frobisher called the facility “a vital piece in the jigsaw” to enable it to recycle more food waste from households.
Alkane chief executive Neil O’Brien added: “The Alkane/Teg collaboration deal is proving its worth combining our heritage in waste management and energy generation. There is a strong match of the skills of the two teams and we continue to work on a number of other AD projects.”