New investment secures future of on-farm AD plant
The future of a UK anaerobic digestion (AD) facility has been secured thanks to new investment.
Station Works AD, a 1MW on-farm AD facility in Thaxted, Essex, UK, was purchased by AD funders Privilege Finance and its business partner BioWatt, who have taken over the operation of the AD plant with immediate effect.
“Privilege has a portfolio of on-farm AD plants, and has been involved in over 20 successful such projects in the UK,” explained Phil Gerrard, CEO of Privilege Finance.
“Therefore, investment in Station Works AD was a relatively straightforward decision for us,” Gerrard continued.
According to BioWatt CEO James Lloyd, the new operators of the plant should see an improvement in its performance.
“Although it has been running successfully since 2012, the current performance level is at between 70% to 80% efficiency,” he explained.
“Our aim would be to significantly improve this by fine-tuning the operation, investing in the infrastructure, and analysing the biology within the process.”
It is hoped that by securing its future, there will be benefits beyond the plant itself, particularly in terms of employment in the local community.
“The plant runs on feedstock consisting of maize, sugar beet and whole crops, which are all locally sourced.
“We’ve developed a relationship with local contractor, Joe Williams, who arranges the feedstock supply. This is then fed to the plant to create renewable electricity and heat.
“He’ll also be working closely with the neighbouring farmers over the coming months, to secure ongoing feedstock requirements for the digester.”