Monsal Ltd (Monsal), the specialist environmental technology company dedicated to providing advanced technology solutions for the water and waste sectors, through backing by Matrix Private Equity Partners, has completed the first phase of planning, pre-design, permitting and support services for an advanced food Anaerobic Digestion (AD) and renewable energy contract for a plant to be located in March, Cambridgeshire.
The publicity provided by Monsal informs us that the project will generate sufficient electricity to supply 1,500 homes, or approximately 6% of the total demand for March, including that from industry and commerce. By so doing Local Generation will help the Fenland authority play a big part in meeting the UK target of 10% of power generated from renewable sources by 2010 and the EU target of 20% of all energy from renewables by 2020.
A highly optimized plant such as this can capture over 80% of the energy content of its fuel. The project is for Local Generation Limited, a subsidiary of Lifecrown Investments Limited and will be located on land owned by Lifecrown and adjacent to Local Generation’s sister company Fenmarc Produce, a leading vegetable food packager and processor. Monsal expects to deliver the turnkey AD contract once permits are in place in late 2009 and the project will progress into the construction phase in early 2010.
Food waste from a range of food businesses and some potato waste from Fenmarc will be processed and recycled by the latest Monsal technology to provide high grade compost and generate renewable energy from biogas. This will divert food waste from landfill and lower emissions of harmful greenhouse gases in the process.
The plant is expected to produce up to 2.5MW of electricity and heat from a combination of potato waste produced at the Fenmarc site and other locally sourced food waste, which currently goes to landfill. Local Generation intends to sell both the power and heat to local homes and businesses, including Fenmarc. In addition to these outputs, the plant will produce up to 12,000 tonnes a year of high quality soil conditioner suitable for improving local Fenland soils. The plant will create some 10 to 15 new jobs once operational and is the largest plant planned in the region.
Mark Harrod, Chairman of Lifecrown said:
“The success of our group companies in Fenland for 40 years has been founded on the strategic location and the skills and work ethic of the local workforce. In making this further substantial investment I am confident that these factors will, once again, get us off to a flying start. This project addresses two of today’s most pressing problems; climate change and food waste management. By treating energy as a precious resource we can maximise value for all concerned.”
Monsal offer a complete turnkey service from consultation, planning, design, permitting with subsequent technology delivery once planning permission and permits are in place.
On receipt of planning approval for the March plant on 17th September, Local Generation director Nick Waterman said “We are delighted that Local Generation Limited has today been granted planning permission for its AD plant at Westry, March.
We are very excited at the prospect of contributing positively to the environment by reducing waste to landfill and lowering emissions of harmful greenhouse gases in the process. The UK Government wants businesses like ours to invest and create new jobs in green technologies as well as deliver sustainable solutions and that is exactly what we are going to do.
This is a great day for Local Generation and our team is looking forward to building the plant. We hope that people in March, Fenland and Cambridgeshire will be very proud to have one of the first AD plants in the UK operating in the region.”
Aidan Cumiskey Monsal’s Managing Director said:
“This is a great result for Local Generation and Cambridgeshire. Lifecrown are a forward thinking group and the plant will neatly integrate local biowaste recycling with on site renewable energy production and create additional employment in the Cambridgeshire/Peterborough area. Based on our latest technology the plant can treat a large variety of biowaste streams including kitchen and household food waste and convert them to renewable energy. This is our first major success with the food sector and we expect continued uptake as a “greening” of the UK food industry supply chain takes place in the coming years.”
Commenting on the success of the planning process: “Planning was achieved in record time for this project. It was the result of our co-operative and very detailed approach to the planning/permitting process. We support biowaste AD projects from concept through financial close and subsequent delivery having the largest specialist team in the UK in this area. We operated as an integrated team working with Local Generation and the regulatory authorities to ensure the project and technology complies with all relevant environmental standards. This avoided abortive work and ensures that the overall solution can be fast tracked into the construction phase with a guaranteed delivery cost.”
The biowaste to energy concept is now being widely applied for the conversion of commercial and household food waste to biogas. The Monsal technology platform is well established and has been operational on large food waste and household kitchen waste treatment and recycling plants for over 10 years in other countries in Europe.