Anaerobic Digestion Project in North Wales
His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales has visited Wales’s first anaerobic digestion (AD) plant, which has been built specifically under the Welsh Government’s renewable energy policy.
The £5 million GwyriAD plant, situated at Llwyn Isaf former waste landfill in Gwynedd, North Wales, has been financed by Gwynedd Council, energy company Biogen, equity firm Iona Capital and the Welsh Government.
The plant, which is currently in the commissioning phase, forms part of the Welsh Government’s renewable energy strategy, which aims to produce 15 per cent of electricity from renewable sources by 2020. Once the facility begins full operations it is expected to process 11,500 tonnes of commercial and household food waste supplied by Gwynedd Council’s new weekly food waste service.
The food waste is processed into a porridge like mixture then pumped into sealed vessels where naturally occurring bacteria break down the organic material in the absence of air, producing a methane-rich biogas. The biogas is then used to produce renewable electricity. In this way, the facility can generate 3,500 megawatt hours per year of electricity for the national grid, enough to power 700 households a year. The facility will also produce digestate, a biofertiliser for use on local farmland.
Waterman acted as the independent certifier for both the contractor Biogen and Gwynedd Council for the first of three projects under part sponsorship by the Welsh Government.