AD plant to turn London food waste into energy

In the UK, Willen Biogas is developing a 27,000 tonne per year biogas plant at Cattlegate Farm in Enfield, London.

Willen Biogas is owned by the investment funds Foresight Environmental Fund (FEF) and UK Waste Resources and Energy Investments fund (UKWREI), with both funds managed by Foresight Group, and by Adrian Williams, Howard Williams, Brian Williams and Mark Lennon.

'This is the second project where both the FEF and UKWREI have invested alongside each other to provide the majority of the equity and the first where they have provided the full project capital needed,' says Nigel Aitchison, partner at Foresight.

The project developer, D. Williams & Co., also owns Cattlegate Farm in Enfield where the biogas plant will be built. Accounting and business advisory firm BDO has assisted during the development in arranging financing of the project.

Xergi has been appointed to build and operate the plant, which will generate renewable electricity for the grid and recycle nutrients from organic waste matter into agricultural fertiliser. It will use the large quantities of food waste produced across London, by households, restaurants and the food industry.

Under the contract, Xergi will deliver a turnkey-ready biogas plant to Willen Biogas. Additionally, it will be responsible for the commissioning of the plant and the subsequent operation for two years. This will involve Xergi establishing a new organisation to ensure efficient operation of the plant.

'Our technology is particularly suited to this task and we therefore look forward both to building the plant and the responsibility for operations,' says Xergi CEO Jørgen Ballermann.

Among other features, the plant will be equipped with a pre-treatment facility that sorts plastic residues from organic waste. The plant will also be built with an engine plant that can produce 1.5MW of electricity, enough to power around 1,750 households.

Construction began in August of this year and the biogas plant is forecast to become operations in May 2016.

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