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PDM to build two new AD plants

PDM says it wants to invest a further £40 million (€48 million) into increasing its network of anaerobic digestion (AD) plants throughout 2012.

Part of these funds will go towards building two new plants in Widnes and East London, UK. These will follow the company’s existing AD plant, which is based in Doncaster, UK.

However, the new plants will have twice the recycling capacity that the existing plant has, handling about 90,000 tonnes of food waste each year and producing 4MW of power.

If planning permission is granted, PDM plans to build the Widnes site on land it already owns in the area, and the facility will feature a food waste recycling hub that will turn the biomass into power.

The food waste will be collected from retailers, restaurants, hotels and householders, with the power being fed to the national grid and the byproduct being used as a fertiliser for farmers’ crops.

Philip Simpson, commercial director at PDM, says: ‘Food waste is recognised as an issue the UK needs to overcome, not only is it a complete waste of a resource by letting it rot in landfill, capacity at these sites is falling fast and AD offers the ideal solution. Our AD plant in Doncaster is performing well, and we’re keen to keep the momentum going in developing our ReFood network to provide regional solutions for food waste across the UK.’

The technology that will be installed in the plants has been pioneered in Europe and PDM says it is ‘industry-leading’ in terms of efficiency, being able to take the waste and turn it into large energy quantities and nutrient rich fertiliser.

The new plants are expected to create 40 jobs each, in sales, logistics and operations. Following planning approval, PDM plans to begin construction in the third quarter of this year, with both plants coming into operation in 2013.