A Teesside firm is at the centre of a new sustainable energy plant that will turn tens of thousands of tons of food waste into gas and electricity.
Stokesley-based JFS & Associates and London firm Iona Capital have joined forces to create the Leeming Biogas facility in North Yorkshire.
The site, one of the largest anaerobic digestion plants in the country to feed gas directly into the national grid, works by breaking down food waste and capturing the natural biomethane it releases.
The £18m investment will see food waste from local businesses including R&R Ice Cream – the world’s third largest ice cream manufacturer converted into green energy rather than being sent to landfill.
Lord Kerslake, the former head of the Home Civil Service and chief executive of Sheffield City Council, formally opened Leeming Biogas on July 1 alongside local dignitaries and sustainable energy specialists – he’s pictured (above, right) with John Kutner, of Iona Capital.
The plant will contribute towards the Government’s targets for reducing landfill and generating sustainable energy by 2020.
It will consume up to 80,000 tonnes of waste every year, the equivalent weight of more than 6,500 double decker buses. It will generate enough gas to supply nearly 4,000 homes a year.
Nothing from the process is wasted – even the by-product left at the end of the process is a nutrient-rich fertiliser that can be used to aid crop production on farms.
Matt Flint, of JFS & Associates, said: “The development of this Anaerobic Digestion plant is the biggest project JFS & Associates has undertaken.
“Without the strong relationship that JFS and Iona Capital have forged over the last four years, this flagship project would not have been possible in North Yorkshire.
“The project is a real example of how renewable technology, local resources and businesses can collaborate with City investors to develop a sustainable and environmentally friendly commercial enterprise.”
Mike Dunn, of Iona Capital, added: “This could not have been achieved without the support of some of the largest UK local authority pension funds, who remain committed to investing in environmental infrastructure projects that help our environment and create jobs.
“The plant has helped local businesses cut costs and boost their environmental credentials by partnering with us, and we look forward to exploring further opportunities to increase sustainable energy production in North Yorkshire.”