Biogen in Wales
As part of our plan to expand our network of operations across the UK, we have partnered with local authorities in Wales to design, build and operate food waste anaerobic digestion (AD) plants.
Anaerobic digestion is the Welsh Government’s preferred option for processing food waste and the technology is supported by Friends of the Earth and other environmental groups.
Research carried out by the government funded organisation WRAP, indicates that more than 15 million tonnes of food waste is disposed of each year in the UK. The majority ends up in landfill sites where it rots and releases methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Central and local governments are promoting recycling in Wales alongside the development of anaerobic digestion facilities across the UK to encourage the sustainable processing of food waste.
Treating food waste collected from local households and from commercial customers by means of anaerobic digestion will generate renewable energy and produce a valuable biofertiliser for local farmland.
The AD plants in Wales will help councils divert food waste from landfill and keep waste disposal costs down. The renewable electricity generated by this process will also make a valuable contribution to the country's energy security for the future and help Wales and the UK reach their targets of producing 15% of electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
Biogen is currently working with local authorities on 3 food waste anaerobic digestion projects in Wales: Biogen Gwyriad in Caernarfon, Biogen Waen in Denbighshire and Biogen Bryn Pica in Rhondda Cynon Taf.
Gwyriad, Llwyn Isaf near Caernarfon
Our Llwyn Isaf AD plant treats food waste from across the whole of Gwynedd. The plant processes 11,000 tonnes of food waste per year and generates 3,500 megawatt hours per year of renewable electricity for the national grid. As with our other AD plants in Wales and England, the location of the plant allows the biofertiliser from the process to be used on local farmland.
The food waste is collected from local households and helps Gwynedd Council meet its landfill diversion and recycling targets. The plant has enabled Gwynedd Council to introduce a weekly service to maximise the collection of food waste and further increase its recycling performance. The plant also provides a local facility to recycle food waste from commercial customers in the area.
The plant is fully licensed and regulated by Natural Resources Wales under The Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010, and Animal Health under Animal By Product Regulations (2005).
Waen, Rhuallt, Denbighshire
The construction of the Waen AD plant near St Asaph was completed in 2014.
The North Wales Consortium of Denbighshire County Council, Conwy County Borough Council and Flintshire County Council signed a 15 year agreement with Biogen and investors Iona Capital, for a contract to design, build, fund and operate the Waen plant, near St Asaph.
The AD plant processes 22,500 tonnes food waste each year, collected from households and businesses in Flintshire, Denbighshire and Conwy to generate 1MW of renewable electricity.
Bryn Pica, Aberdare, Mid Glamorgan, Wales
Biogen signed an agreement with the ‘Tomorrow’s Valley Hub’ for the AD plant at Bryn Pica which, once operational, will process 22,500 tonnes of food waste per year. The plant is situated next to the existing Bryn Pica landfill site off the A465, near Aberdare.
The Bryn Pica plant will process food waste collected from homes and businesses within the Rhondda Cynon Taf, Merthyr Tydfil and Newport areas to generate renewable electricity for the grid - enough to power more than 2,000 homes.
Work on the Bryn Pica plant is well underway and it is expected that it will be operational and generating electricity by July 2015.
Click here to find out more about the project