Water company Severn Trent invests £20 million on AD facility

Work is underway on water company Severn Trent’s new food waste and green gas plant, located in Spondon, close to Derby, UK.

Severn Trent is set to invest around £20 million in the facility, which will convert 50,000 tonnes of food waste a year into renewable gas that will be pumped into the distribution network.

Jones Celtic BioEnergy, an engineering company, will build the new anaerobic digestion (AD) plant, which will be similar in design to the company’s existing food waste plant in Coleshill, and another which is nearing completion in Roundhill near Stourbridge.

Project leader Peter Ravenscroft said: “We’re really excited to see work underway on what will be our third food waste site.

“The plant will take waste food from local businesses and waste management companies in the Derby area and process it to produce biomethane which is a gas suitable for injection into the local gas network and which can be used in homes and businesses across the areas.

“The process also makes sure that the food waste doesn’t end up going to landfill and any packaging that we remove at the plant will be sent for recycling.

“We’ve got more than 60 years of experience of turning sewage into clean energy, and we’re now putting that to good use in our food waste plants.”

Severn Trent’s new plant will ‘wash, squash, test and inject’ the gas produced though AD to make it suitable for domestic use. The gas is ‘washed’ at high pressure and then ‘squashed’ or compressed, so it is the same pressure as natural gas. An odour is then added to the gas so it smells like ‘normal’ gas.

Prior to being injected into the gas supply network, testing is done to review the energy composition of the gas.

Ravenscroft added: “We currently generate the equivalent of more than a third of the energy we use through renewable sources, and we’re aiming to increase that to 50 per cent by 2020.

“If everything goes to plan we expect the new food waste plant in Spondon to be in use by the middle of 2018 and it will have a big impact on helping us reach that ambitious target.”

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