Major digestate milestone at Tamar Energy AD plants

Tamar Energy, operators and developers of commercial anaerobic digestion (AD) plants in the UK, has announced that two of its AD sites have achieved a key industry quality standard.

The company's AD plants at Retford, Nottinghamshire and Holbeach, Lincolnshire have been awarded PAS 110 certificates – a standard backed by WRAP and the British Standards Institute to ensure quality and consistency in digestate, a by-product of the AD process.

The achievement is a major leap forward in creating a sustainable market for digestate – the material left at the end of the AD process. Tamar Energy digestate is currently being used successfully by Worth Farms, its partner at Holbeach, on its potato and vegetable crops - saving an estimated £60,000 (€85,000) per year. Tamar Energy expects its other AD plants to quickly follow suit in achieving the quality standard.

Jeremy Neal, Tamar Energy's digestate manager, says: 'One of the great things about AD is that two products are created – energy and a nutrient-rich digestate. Digestate, better termed bio-fertiliser, is going to become an increasingly important aspect of the business case for commercial AD. Having our plants PAS 110 accredited allows us to show our customers that the biofertiliser we're providing is of the highest quality possible.'

The quality standard is designed to give customers confidence that the digestate they receive is fit for purpose and of the highest quality. The accreditation is achieved by demonstrating consistent quality in the digestate produced at individual plants. Compliance must be proved across a number of criteria including the feedstock used in the AD process, the minimum quality and chemical content of the digestate and the level of information provided to end users. Operators are required to provide three digestate samples for quality testing as well as demonstrating that their internal processes are robust enough to produce high grade digestate.

Tamar Energy also operates plants in Basingstoke, Hampshire and Halstead, Essex, which will go through the PAS110 accreditation process in 2015. Its fifth plant in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire is in construction.

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