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Members’ News & Views OPERATOR NEWS

East Midlands Biogas Centre set to treble capacity Bio Dynamic has received approval to treble the capacity of its AD plant and process 150,000 tonnes of food waste per year. The company says that its East Midlands Biogas Centre in Colwick, Nottingham, will become the second largest food waste digester in the country, with the capacity to power more than 20,000 homes. Gary Burgess, Technical Director, says: “The County Council’s forward thinking vision will allow for a greener and more sustainable future for the county and the region. We will continue to work with local councils in our area to encourage source segregated food waste collections which can be treated by us locally.”

The East Midlands Biogas Centre will have the capacity to power over 20,000 homes

NEC leftovers power Severn Trent’s Coleshill plant

being released into the local environment, equivalent to taking 3,300 cars off UK roads,” explains Severn Trent’s Chris Jellett. “To add to that, every year we expect to generate around 17,000 MWh, enough to power around 4,000 homes or the whole of Coleshill sewage treatment works and more. This means that the site will be totally self-sufficient for its electricity needs.”

The NEC has become one of the first local businesses to send its food waste to Severn Trent Green Power’s £13m food waste AD plant. Located on the outskirts of Birmingham, adjacent to Severn Trent Water’s Coleshill sewage treatment works, the plant opened in February 2015 and will process just under 50,000 tonnes of food waste per year. “We’ll be stopping around 8,000 tonnes of CO2

The NEC’s Brian Pell and Severn Trent’s Chris Jellett seal the deal


As part of UK AD & Biogas 2015, we are offering a site visit to the Coleshill plant on 30 June. Places cost £28 plus VAT and booking fee, and are available on a first come, first served basis. All attendees must bring their own steel toe capped boots. To book your place, go to

BIOGEN – PUTTING THE CUSTOMER FIRST Biogen has recently opened its fifth plant, the £12m Bygrave Lodge food waste facility near Baldock, Hertfordshire. ADBA Chief Executive, Charlotte Morton, accompanied our Managing Editor, Kirsty Sharpe, and Editor, Kate O’Reilly, to the plant’s official opening, and learnt how the company places customer satisfaction at the heart of its operations...

There has been talk over the past year that food waste AD may have reached its ‘tipping point’; that the amount of AD capacity coming on stream is outstripping the supply of available food waste. Yet food waste AD operator Biogen continues to thrive. “Three and a half years ago, we employed 45 people and treated 75,000 tonnes of food waste,” explained the company’s Chief Executive, Julian O’Neill. “Now, thanks to a £70m investment, we employ around 100 people and are treating 250,000 tonnes of food waste.”

Among the companies sending their food waste for treatment at the 2.1 MW Bygrave Lodge facility are Asda, Simmons Bakeries, West London Waste Authority, and ACM Environmental. Keeping them happy is top of Biogen’s

L-R: Julian O’Neill, Charlotte Morton, Kate O’Reilly and Kirsty Sharpe at Biogen’s Bygrave Lodge plant

list of priorities. “We don’t talk about ‘feedstock suppliers’ – we have customers,” stated Julian. “We can’t let them down; we strive to be fair on pricing, to be flexible, and to provide regular reporting.” The company has also invested heavily in pre-treatment technology. Bygrave Lodge employs two hammer mills, fed via two screw feed augers with magnets to remove ferrous metals. The hammer mills separate the food waste from the packaging; the packaging is washed and sent for recycling while the separated food waste is sent to the anaerobic digesters for processing. There is of course a cost implication in such an array of technology, but for Biogen, it’s money well spent. “Our customers are busy people, and they don’t want extra work,” Julian explained. “We see ourselves as a one-stop shop. It’s our job to make it easy for them to recycle their food waste with us.”

Food waste being delivered at Bygrave Lodge

It’s a strategy which is paying dividends. With a further two Biogen plants (at Warwickshire and Rhondda Cynon Taf) set to come on stream later this year, it’s clear that a focus on customer service, health and safety, and process efficiency is helping to ensure that Biogen continues to reap the benefits of ‘doing AD well’.



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