Food waste will be turned into power for the next generation of Tees Valley manufacturers, thanks to a key planning approval.
Operator Ener-G Riverside Park Biogas has secured planning permission from Middlesbrough Council to bring an anaerobic digestion (AD) plant to the forthcoming TeesAMP advanced manufacturing park site.
Ener-G’s £25m plant will use a series of biological processes to break down food and manure, producing methane gas that will be fed into the national grid and power some of the businesses at the park.
Geoff Hogg, managing director of site owner Cleveland Property Developments, said: “We’re excited to be bringing this renewable energy source to the TeesAMP site – showcasing the park’s credentials as a cutting-edge location for manufacturers.
“It will be an important source of power, not only fuelling the production of goods here in the Tees Valley, but also feeding into the national grid.
“The AD plant is a key addition to TeesAMP which will give manufacturers another way to build environmental sustainability into their processes.”
Waste for the process will be loaded into a sealed round tank that is then fermented to produce gases. Methane is filtered out to be used as fuel.
The leftover material – which is almost odourless – will then be distributed to farms and used in the same way a fertiliser would be.
Plans for the plant also include a small combined heat and power unit to produce the electricity the digester needs to work.
TeesAMP is the result of a partnership between Cleveland Property Developments, Middlesbrough Council and Tees Valley Combined Authority.
Middlesbrough Council has provided £12.5m investment for the project while Tees Valley Combined Authority has provided £7.6m.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “This is exactly the sort of business we want to see on the Tees Advanced Manufacturing Park.
“The plant isn’t just helping to power its neighbours, it’s contributing to the UK’s energy mix as a whole. I look forward to hearing about Ener-G’s success and can’t wait to see more inventive businesses of this kind on the site.”
Meanwhile overall plans for the TeesAMP site were submitted to Middlesbrough Council last week.
The scheme is expected to bring forward-thinking producers and up to 1,000 jobs to the Tees Valley.
The first phase of development includes 180,000 sq ft of high quality manufacturing and office accommodation across 17 buildings.