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UK AD project delayed for four months, could cost company up to £5m

An anaerobic digestion (AD) facility built in South Kirkby, West Yorkshire, UK, has been hit with a four-month delay in becoming fully operational.

The hold-up could add several millions of pounds to the commissioning budget at the plant that has already had £750 million (€1.06bln) invested to it.

Shanks, the UK waste-to-product company responsible for running the plant in a 25-year private finance initiative with Wakefield council, has set aside £4.6 million to cover damages caused by the delay.

According to the company’s half-year financial report, the site is ‘largely complete and operational but will enter full service around four months late’ due to Imtech, a contractor at the facility, going bankrupt.

The Wakefield council says the only part of the AD plant not operational is the digester and that the council would not face additional costs due to the delay.

‘I can assure residents that the Shanks waste treatment facility is up and running and handling all the district’s rubbish. Once the anaerobic digestion facility is operational we will see even more of the district’s waste diverted from landfill,’ says Maureen Cummings, the Wakefield council’s cabinet member for environment and communities.

Peter Eglinton, managing director of Shanks Waste Management, says the company’s project and operational teams are working exceptionally hard to minimise the impact of the delay to the AD facility.

The plant will eventually divert 95% of the Wakefield district’s waste away from landfill, saving the council millions of pounds in landfill tax.