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Sustainability Leaders Awards 2012


Renewable Energy WINNER:


Northumbrian Water Group


As the first company to utilise thermal hydrolysis advanced anaerobic digestion (AAD) on an industrial scale, it is safe to say that Northumbrian Water Ltd (NWL) is a front runner for environmental and engineering excellence in the water industry.


Since 2006, Northumbrian Water stra- tegically focused its AAD sludge treat- ment capacity at just two locations – one in Bran Sands in Teesside and one in Howdon in Tyneside. With a total invest- ment of £75m, both plants currently use 100% sewage sludge to produce ener- gy, which, according to Northumbrian Water, is an industry first.


The process equates to 1,000,000 tonnes of sewage sludge, from a population equivalent to three million people, into 9 mega watts of green energy and employs


L-r: Edie energy and sustainability editor Leigh Stringer, compere Sue Perkins and the Northumbrian Water team


AAD in a novel thermal hydrolysis pro- cess (THP), instead of sludge drying, to produce greater quantities of biogas than is possible using conventional anaerobic digestion. As a result, Northumbrian Water expects emissions per megalitre, which is the


normalised basis of comparison between water companies, will become the low- est in the country, while its ambition for emissions reduction of 35% by 2020, from a 2008 base, exceeds that of both the UK Government and the EU. According to the company, latest figures


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