20 August 2011

How Much does an Anaerobic Digestion Plant Cost?

We are often asked how much an Anaerobic Digestion Plant costs, and of course, a plant can cost "not much", or "a great deal of money" depending on the scale of the plant, and the degreee of sophstication built into it. plus many other factors. That's not a very helpful answer, is it?

What makes this question of cost even more difficult is that the developers of these plants quite reasonably, consider their costs to be commercially sensitive information and rarely publish information on their costs. The UK government's waste technology development encouraging quango "WRAP", has done a good job in recent years by publishing a comparative table of the range of costs for different technologies to "dispose" of waste for the different solid waste treatment technologies, but their pricing suffers like the rest of us from the dearth or data, and their price guidance is based on just a few examples.

That is why it was good to see that the Fife Council, Scotland, which is seeking to develop new biowaste processing infrastructure on land under its control at its existing Lochhead Landfill site near Dunfermline, has published the contract award price (in the Award Notice), for their new plant on the EU's Official "Tenders online database" (TEDs).

The price they give is admittedly for their very site specific solution to building an AD Plant to meet the needs of the local community, as part of scotland's Zero Waste to landfill targets, so it is only typical of this type of plant.

The proposed facility will utilise AD as a central componentent of its processing technology and will have the capacity to process a minimum of 43,000 tonnes per annum of source segregated biowaste feedstocks (comprising food waste, garden waste and commercial organic wastes). We are also told that the plant will also be designed to maximise the methane content of the biogas generated by the process, for subsequent energy recovery.

The new facility will be operated by Council's own staff and will provide facilities for feedstock reception, storage, handling, processing and management (including maturation, refinement and storage prior to export) of the process by-products, which wil include digestate and biogas energy.

The plant design must is required to meet the technical standard for processing Category 3 materials under the applicable Animal By-Products Regulations in Scotland and must achieve a digestate standard that as a minimum, complies with the quality requirements of BSI PAS:110 Specification for Digestate.

The successful contractor is Luddon has been engaged by the Council to carry out the design, construction, commissioning and performance testing of this new biowaste plant and this will include specialist training of nominated Council staff in AD process operation.

The Contract Award cost is £14, 980 463,01 GBP excluding VAT - which it is understood that the Council being a public body, would not normally be required to pay, so the predicted price of an Anaerobic Digestion Plant is in this example (not including running coosts), in round figures - £15 million GBP.

Find out more about the Contractor at http://www.luddon.co.uk

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