Amur aims to complete phase two construction of North Yorkshire AD plant by December
Amur, a new UK-based anaerobic digestion (AD) player, is set to complete the second phase of construction for its AD plant in North Yorkshire, UK, by the end of this year.
The business, part of AB Agri, an Associated British Foods subsidiary, was officially launched in June this year at the ADBA show in Birmingham, UK. Associated British Foods also owns high-street retailer Primark and food brand Allied Bakeries. As well as constructing an AD plant, Amur will work with agricultural and waste-fed AD operators to supply them high-quality feedstocks and additives to help them improve plant performance.
Amur is building an AD facility in South Milford, North Yorkshire, which will not only act as a testing ground for new products but also a centre for potential customers to visit for a demonstration of its services. Having its own facility also gives Amur the chance to gather a practical understanding of the challenges AD operators are facing when building and running their own plants.
Speaking to Bioenergy Insight, Amur general manager, Nigel Lee said: “We are currently building a 3MW, 60,000 tonne per year AD plant. It is located on four acres of land and is a gas-to-grid site. We first injected into the grid in March.
“We aim to complete phase 2 of our build by the end of December.”
Amur aims to offer practical support to those already established and those just starting out in AD. Speaking about why the company was launched, Lee said: “When we launched we asked how we could add value to AD operators across the supply chain. We have been working on this for the past three years and making sure everything was right.
“We had to make sure that we had the right partnerships in place and the right products to sell. In AD, it can be quite a challenge to sell products because of the environmental regulations these products have to have.
“The products we supply give our customers confidence that they will be able to produce a certain amount of gas consistently. This protects their revenues.”
Alongside the practical supply services, Amur will also offer advice and guidance to AD operators.
The business team will use their own expertise and experience to offer practical support on feedstock selection and plant optimisation as well as collaborating with NNFCC, the leading UK consultancy focused on understanding bio-renewable markets and associated technologies. Working together, Amur and the NNFCC, will offer agricultural AD operators advice on greenhouse gas compliance, greenhouse gas monitoring and product use.
Lee added: “AD operator should drive consistency in their plants. We provide a lot of AD plants with products and services. Gas is king. They need to get their consistency right. Once they get their consistency right they will not have to fight battles with their plant. If your plant is running smoothly, you will have to time to worry about other things like digestate and carbon. You will also question, ‘Am I getting the best utilisation from my gas?’ The more time your plant is running, the longer you have to look at other stuff.”
When asked about how government can help improve the AD industry, Lee said: “What is needed in the industry is stability. As somebody investing millions of pounds, you need to know you will be able to deliver a return on your investment. 70% of your revenues are tied up with government subsidies. We have had lot of uncertainty with government subsidy policy in recent years. This creates a ‘stop and start’ effect within the industry. This has really affected investment. People have struggled with that.”
This story was written by Liz Gyekye, editor of Bioenergy Insight.