Gas-to-grid AD plant gobbles up food waste

A new plant for recycling large quantities of food waste has opened for business in Widnes.

ReFood, operated by SARIA which provides services for farming and the food industry and also produces bio-fuels and renewable energy, has opened its latest anaerobic digestion (AD) plant in Widnes.

The plant is the UK’s largest gas-to-grid plant of its kind and the second AD plant for the ReFood brand.

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ReFood Widnes will recycle 120,000 tonnes of commercial and domestic food waste and liquids and will generate up to 180 million KWh of biomethane each year, which will be transported directly to the national gas grid where it will provide enough power for 10,000 homes.

The move to gas-to-grid demonstrates the company’s commitment to embracing new technologies to ensure that food waste is maximised as an energy resource.

ReFood Widnes offers integrated food waste collection and recycling services for businesses in a 50 mile radius including hotels, restaurants, cafes, bars, local authorities and retailers.

Andy Smith, CEO of SARIA, comments: “I’m delighted to add ReFood Widnes to our portfolio of food waste recycling technologies. As our first gas-to-grid AD plant it will operate as a showcase plant for both the ReFood brand and also the AD industry as a whole in both the UK and Europe.

"Food waste offers such important potential as a resource, that we must maximise this through the use of new innovative technologies."

• ReFood continues to expand, with ReFood Dagenham, a further £20m investment, due to begin construction soon and be operational in late 2015.

Located in the London Sustainable Industries Park, this plant will recycle 160,000 tonnes of food waste and produce 22.7 MWh of electricity direct to grid.

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