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Advanced AD facility at Welsh WWTP enters commissioning phase

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A new advanced anaerobic digestion (AAD) facility at a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) in Wales has moved a step closer towards completion.

Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water has invested more than £50 million (€58 million) to create a new energy generating facility at its Cog Moors WWTP. The state-of-the-art AAD facility, which will recover energy from waste processed at the site and use it to generate electricity, has entered its commissioning phase.

Construction of the AAD facility will enhance the site’s existing AD plant, enabling more biogas to be recovered from the waste. Once completed, the AAD plant will generate enough energy to power the WWTP, which will make it an energy-neutral site. The energy generated will be equivalent to the amount needed to power 4,800 homes.

Shaun O’Leary, Welsh Water’s programme delivery manager, said: “The AAD at Cog Moors will improve the way we treat wastewater at the site, as well as help us to reduce our carbon footprint by producing renewable energy. It will also help keep customer bills down as we will be using our own energy to help power the treatment works.

“The work at Cog Moors has been ongoing since 2018, and we’re pleased to say that it’s nearing completion. The new process for recovering energy from the waste processed on-site will be in full service following the commissioning process, which is anticipated to be completed during the spring.”

Welsh Water said the majority of work has been completed within the site of the treatment works and has not adversely affected protected species or sites of nature conservation importance in the surrounding area.

“We have been keeping local residents informed throughout this project and would like to take this opportunity to thank them for bearing with us while we have carried out this work,” said O’Leary.

While the AAD site is being commissioned, the not-for-profit utility company will complete the remaining on-site activities, which include the reinstatement of land around the new facility, anticipated to be completed by the end of May.

To date, the company has invested over £200 million (€235 million) into AAD plants across Wales, which will help manage the effects of climate change and reduce its carbon footprint.