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DONG Energy unveils plan for ‘world first’ enzyme-enabled bio plant

DONG Energy, a Denmark-headquartered energy firm, has unveiled plans to build a bio plant which turns unsorted household waste into energy in the UK.

The plant, which the company will finance, build and operate, will use an enzyme technology it calls REnescience. DONG claims that "it will be the first bio plant in the world to handle unsorted household waste, without prior treatment, using enzymes". The facility will be built in Northwich, Cheshire.

According to the company, the commercial full-scale plant will be able to receive unsorted household waste, which – through enzyme treatment – will be converted into biogas as well as recyclable plastics and metals. Recovered biogas will then be converted to power via gas engines.

The plant is expected to have an annual capacity of 120,000 tonnes of waste, which will be supplied by waste management specialist FCC Environment, which already collects household waste in the Northwich region.

DONG Energy said the plant will be operational in 2017.

Around 150 people will be involved during the peak phase of construction, with an average of 75 at any given time. The plant will also require around 24 full-time local employees to operate it.

Brent Cheshire, DONG Energy's UK chairman, said: "It's fantastic to see the world's first bio plant of this type being built in Northwich, underlining the UK is once again leading the way in renewable energy. This new plant also highlights our commitment to investing in the Northern Powerhouse.

"REnescience is a brilliant new technology and generates as many resources as possible from everyday household waste. This new bio plant will see us handling waste in a much smarter way."

DONG Energy has announced it will start work this month on a state-of-the-art waste to energy plant in Cheshire.