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Construction starts on new Widnes ReFood AD plant

PDM has started the construction of its second industrial scale anaerobic digestion (AD) plant under its ReFood brand. The 4.2MW plant is being built on PDM’s existing rendering and renewable energy generation site onDesoto Road,Widnes, and once completed, will have the capacity to handle 90,000 tonnes of commercial and domestic food waste.

Following the success of the first ReFood plant inDoncaster, which opened in 2011, the new £20m plant will generate 4.2MWh of renewable electricity, enough energy for approximately 8,000 homes. It will also deliver 4,000kg/hr of steam and hot water.

A nutrient-rich liquid fertiliser produced by the AD process will be used by farmers in the local area to grow new crops. Once complete, the new plant is also expected to result in the creation of 36 new jobs across, sales, operations, engineering, admin and finance.

The Widnes Refood plant will have 50 per cent more capacity compared toDoncaster, with three combined heat and power (CHP) engines to convert the biogas produced during the AD process into renewable electricity.

PDM announced plans to invest £40 million in its ReFood operations last year and, in addition to the Widnes site, which is expected to be completed in late 2013, plans for a third plant in London are also underway.

Philip Simpson, commercial director at PDM, comments: “The Widnes AD plant adds another sustainable solution to our portfolio in theNorth Westand showcases our long standing commitment to develop this site to create a unique range of recycling and renewable energy services at a single location. Our award-winningDoncasterplant has set a benchmark in AD based recycling, assisting businesses to divert waste from landfill sites.”

“The Widnes plant is surrounded by an area that’s an important hub in terms of food manufacturing and retail distribution, so it’s the ideal place to offer such state-of-the-art treatments for the 10 million plus tonnes of food waste theUKgenerates.”

Mr Reinhard Lohmann (Chairman of the Management Board of RETHMANN Group) joins Anthony De Mulder from PDM Group in performing the ground breaking for the new ReFood AD plant at Widnes while Paul Morris (PDM Group), Klaus Rohmann (RETHMANN Group), Dr Thorsten Seeger (SARIA Group), Philip Simpson and Andy Smith from PDM Group look on.