Scottish Water launches anaerobic digestion power plant

9 January 2009 - Scottish Water Waste Services have signed a contract for the design and construction of a state-of-the-art anaerobic digestion plant at their Deerdykes facility outside Cumbernauld.

The new plant will process food waste to produce green electricity which will be used to power the works on site, some of the neighbouring industrial estates and may even be sold back to the National Grid. The plant will also produce heat which can be used in district heating schemes for local homes and businesses.

In addition to energy, the process produces nutrient rich digestate which can be used as a liquid fertiliser to improve the nutritional content of Scotland's soil resources, reducing the use of inorganic fertiliser.

Planning permission for the site has been awarded and applications for permits are underway. Initial waste streams to provide raw materials have also been secured.

The target date for the site to be fully operational is April 2010. HBS Construction Ltd (previously Henry Boot Scotland) and Monsal Ltd will provide technical advice and design and build the plant.

Scottish Water Waste Services' Business Development Manager, Donald MacBrayne, said: "As part of this process - known as anaerobic digestion – gases are produced which can be harnessed to produce electricity. Everything from potato peelings to soggy old tea bags can be transformed into an efficient and environmentally friendly energy source."

Anaerobic digestion is not a new treatment process; it has been used in Europe for over 20 years. Countries like Denmark have led the way in proving that what we classify as 'waste' is actually a green resource waiting to be unlocked.

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