Sustaining AD industry success requires consistent Government policy

by Search Gate staff. Published Thu 10 Sep 2015 10:38
Leading AD operator calls for a "level playing field"
Leading AD operator calls for a

Leading anaerobic digestion operator Tamar Energy has warned the Government to ensure that there is a level playing field for the UK’s waste management solutions, as DECC reviews its tariff regime support for renewable technologies.

2015 has seen Tamar Energy secure a £32 million funding deal with Royal Bank of Scotland, a purchasing agreement with EDF Energy, and achieve recognition of its high quality biofertiliser. It will also finish construction of its 3 MW Hoddesdon, Herts AD plant.

Despite this success, Tamar Energy is calling on the Government to ensure it maintains an environment in which AD – as a waste management solution and low carbon, baseload energy provider - continues to prosper.

Following the rapid expansion of the past few years, Tamar Energy has spent 2015 reinforcing its credentials as the most innovative AD company in the UK. Earlier in the year, the firm announced a major Power Purchasing Agreement with energy giant EDF Energy. The long-term deal sees EDF buying the electricity from Tamar Energy’s current 11MW generation portfolio.

In a further sign of confidence in Tamar Energy, a landmark ‘non-recourse’ debt financing deal was agreed with Royal Bank of Scotland, an industry first facility that provides £32 million to continue the company’s expansion. The new financing facility will be used to develop its UK network of AD plants.

The AD operator has recently completed work on two of its plants to achieve PAS110 status for its digestate. The biofertiliser from Tamar Energy’s plants in Retford, Notts and Holbeach, Lincs have achieved the British Standards Institute and WRAP-backed standard which ensures farmers can have confidence in AD-produced biofertiliser.

Tamar Energy’s partner at Holbeach, Worth Farms, is currently using the fertiliser on its potato and vegetable crops, saving an estimated £60,000 per year. Tamar Energy expects its other AD plants to quickly follow suit in achieving the quality standard.

Tamar Energy Chief Executive Willie Heller has called on the Government to ensure its policy reflects the waste hierarchy and puts recycling in AD above disposal by incineration or to landfill.

“AD is a commercially viable solution to waste management and renewable energy targets,” he said. “The feedstock supply challenge facing the industry can be addressed if the food waste was getting to the right place.

“Of the 40% of residual household waste going to incineration, it is estimated 40% of this is food waste. This runs counter to the waste hierarchy. Tamar Energy is calling for measures to ensure this food waste is diverted to AD, where its full potential as a source of energy and environmentally biofertiliser can be realised.”

Heller added: “The last few years have demonstrated that professionally operated, quality AD plants are the best place to deal with unavoidable food waste. To make sure we capitalise on this, we need to collect more household food waste separately at the source.

“Supporting councils to set up segregated collection schemes means we will not - either domestically or through export - burn or bury material when there are more cost-effective, environmentally-friendly alternatives.”

Tamar Energy is continuing to deliver its vision of a UK-wide network of plants, deploying more commercial-scale, strategically located AD plants. These industry leading plants offer competitive treatment options by leveraging their combined capacity, economies of scale, multiple feedstock sourcing arrangements and comprehensive digestate solutions.

Tamar Energy will be exhibiting at the upcoming RWM Show at the NEC in Birmingham on 15-17 September.

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