A £14 million anaerobic digestion (AD) plant, the largest in Wales, was officially opened last Friday (2 Dec) by Bridgend Assembly Minister Carwyn Jones.
Developed by Agrivert, one of the UK’s leading AD specialists, it takes food waste from Welsh homes and businesses and converts it into renewable energy.
Located at Parc Stormy near Bridgend in South East Wales, it is the company’s first foothold into the Principality and is set to process around 48,000 tonnes of organic waste per year, generating 3MW of electricity – enough to supply over 5,900 homes. The facility also produces valuable bio-fertiliser that can displace fossil fuel derived fertilisers on over 3,000 acres of local farm land.
Some 40 jobs were created during the eight-month construction phase. Now with three full time staff located at the facility, up to 20 further jobs are planned. The opening is timely given Welsh Government has set local authorities the target of achieving 70% recycling by 2025.
Mr Jones was among some 50 local dignitaries at the launch which included a tour of a plant built on a site already known for its pioneering approach to environmentally-friendly production. Once an aerodrome in the World War II, Parc Stormy has since 2007 been transformed from a rundown brownfield site into a cluster of interconnected renewable technologies.
The arrival of Agrivert adds to the mix of green technologies already in place including a wind turbine, a field of solar panels, an eco-house and a plant that converts industrial waste into low-carbon cement. There are plans to add a second wind turbine, a pioneering 10MW Battery Storage project as well as a Hydrogen Refuelling Station.
Agrivert is well respected within the AD and waste management industry and is widely regarded as the market leader in food waste recycling. Working with 36 local authorities, five of these are in the top ten when it comes to recycling performance.
The new Welsh Agrivert plant already provides food recycling services for local businesses as well as for Ceredigion, Powys and Pembrokeshire Councils. It hopes to attract waste from other local authorities and businesses including food manufacturers and producers and waste collection companies.
Agrivert chief executive Alexander Maddan, said:
“We are proud of this AD project and the increased accessibility to our industry-leading food waste recycling services it brings.
“The new plant will offer much needed reliable capacity to local markets and we are pleased that large volumes of waste are already coming in from local sources. Local plants such as this reduce the cost of waste collection and treatment and should provide an incentive for many businesses to recycle food waste.
“We are delighted to be working with Ceredigion, Powys and Pembrokeshire Councils, who have been supportive partners at every step. Indeed we could not have delivered this facility so quickly if we had not had such a progressive relationship.”
Bridgend AM Carwyn Jones commented:
“I welcome Agrivert’s investment in my constituency and I am very pleased to officially open their new Anaerobic Digestion plant, the largest in Wales, at Parc Stormy, Stormy Down. The presence of this facility within my constituency will bring a number of benefits.
“By segregating food from general waste, large tonnages will avoid landfill, where it would generate greenhouse gas emissions. This facility is expected to process around 48,000 tonnes of organic waste per year and will generate electricity that will be exported to the National Grid.”