Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Scottish Water to Team Up with Monsal on Biogas Plant in Cumbernauld

Scottish Water to build biogas plant in Cumbernauld

Scottish Water's plans to build an anaerobic digestion facility at Cumbernauld which will generate electricity and heat have made a major step forward with the signing of agreements to design and build the 30,000 tonne-a-year capacity plant.

The utilities company has secured the services of Nottinghamshire-based AD specialists Monsal and HBS Construction of Glasgow to design and build the Deerdykes facility, which will be built on the same site as its existing 24,000 tonne-a-year capacity in-vessel composting plant.

Expected to be fully operational by April 2010, the plant will generate 1MW of electricity - to be used on site, by neighbouring industrial estates and, potentially, sold back to the National Grid.

It will also produce 1.1MW of heat which can be used in district heating schemes for local homes and businesses.

Planning permission for the site, which will be run by the commercial arm of Scottish Water Waste Services, Horizons, has already been awarded and the company is in the process of securing operating permits.

Aidan Cumisky, managing director of Monsal, said: "This will be a flagship project for Scotland where Scottish Water Waste Services has taken the initiative to demonstrate the viability of biowaste anaerobic digestion on a large scale.

"This solution can be applied across Scotland to make a significant impact on waste recycling and renewable energy generation targets using the latest Monsal technology."

The development was welcomed by Mike Russell, environment minister for the Scottish Government, who said: "The extension to Deerdykes is precisely the kind of forward-thinking that we want local authorities to undertake as we push to minimise the waste generated in Scotland."

The plans were also well-received by Duncan McLaren, chief executive of Friends of the Earth Scotland who said: "This is an example of a big company taking sound initiative to help address the twin problems of climate change and excessive organic waste being sent to landfill."

A spokesman for Scottish Water explained the plant would at first take in food waste collected by local councils and it is hoped that the food industry will also use the facility to process its waste.

He said that "initial waste streams to provide raw materials have already been secured" and added that Scottish Water is currently trying attract the commercial sector to the operation.

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