The world’s first bio-plant to turn unsorted household waste into green gas and recyclable plastics and metals is to be built in Cheshire.
Dong Energy is building the plant in Northwich, which will have an annual capacity of 120,000 tonnes of waste, equivalent to the waste generated by 110,000 UK households.
The facility will be the first in the world to turn unsorted household waste without prior treatment into biogas using enzymes, in a new technology called Renescience. The biogas will be converted to green energy via gas engines.
Planning permission has been granted and construction work is due to start this month, with the plant expected to be up and running in 2017. The feedstock will be supplied by FCC Environment, which collects household waste in the region.
Dong Energy has been testing the technology at a demonstration plant in Copenhagen since 2009, and will finance, build and operate the new plant.
Its UK chairman Brent Cheshire said: “It is fantastic to see the world’s first bio-plant of this type being built in Northwich, underlining that the UK is once again leading the way in renewable energy.
“Renescience is a brilliant technology and generates as many resources as possible from everyday household waste. This plant will see us handling waste in a much smarter way.”
During the peak phase of construction, around 150 people will be involved, with an average of 75 working on site at any given time. The plant will require 24 full-time employees to operate it.