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Waste from new £20m cheese factory to become biogas

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Biodegradable wastes will be collected from a new £20 million (€23 million) cheese project in Wales and turned into biogas.

Thanks to Welsh Government funding, the new project – Mona Island Dairy Factory - will produce Welsh and continental cheeses in a 25,000 square-foot facility based in Mona Industrial Park on Anglesey.

A £3 million (€3.4 million) grant from the Business Innovation and Tourism Escalator Scheme will see the Mona Island Dairy Factory become the most sustainable in Europe, running solely on renewable electricity.

Additional money in the form of loans and equity will contribute to the £20 million (€23 million) site conversion, which is due to be completed in September. When finished, the factory will be able to produce 7,000 tons of cheese a year.

Biodegradable wastes produced at the site, such as milk residue, will be processed at the nearby Mona Biogas plant and all the process water will be recovered from the whey concentration, minimising the intake of potable water.

Managing director Ronald Akkerman said this will make the project “the most environmentally friendly factory in Europe, running completely on renewable electricity”.

Lesley Griffiths, Minister responsible for Rural Affairs and North Wales and Trefnydd, said: “It is good to see that milk from local farms will be used in the production of the cheese, which will be a boost for the dairy industry, and it is great to see the measures taken to minimise the impact on the environment.

“I am pleased the Welsh Government is supporting this facility which will create over 100 new jobs, which is very positive for the region.”