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SARIA host their 2014 group open days at Widnes site

The ReFood Widnes AD facility opened in June this year and is the first plant of its kind in the UK. The two-day event marks the first opportunity for the public, businesses and suppliers alike to see how it turns food waste into energy to power UK homes and talk to the masterminds behind the technology.

Through the AD process, ReFood Widnes generates enough gas to power 10,000 properties each year. This is achieved by recycling 120,000 tonnes of commercial and domestic food waste and liquids to produce up to 180 million KWh of biomethane which will be transported directly to the national grid.

Andy Smith, CEO of SARIA, comments: “The development and launch of ReFood Widnes as the UK’s first AD gas-to-grid plant of its kind has been a remarkable journey. As a business we have taken our expertise and brought to life our vision to improve the way we recycle in the UK and I am now delighted we are at the stage post-launch to open our doors and showcase the technology. What’s great about these open days is that we will be joined by our suppliers, specialists in the recovery and recycling of food waste, who will be able to share their unique insights and experience.

“The event also gives businesses in the North West the opportunity to see how simple a food waste collection and recycling service is to implement, especially with ReFood’s unique bin swap system. Customers, local businesses and stakeholders have a great opportunity to see first hand the important resource that our wasted food offers and how it can be recovered and used to generate power for our homes.”

Alongside visiting the AD facility, guests also have the opportunity to tour the group’s neighbouring animal by-product processing and renewable energy generation site. Serving abattoirs, butchers’ shops, food manufacturers and supermarkets across the region, the SecAnim plant processes animal by-products securely and sustainably to produce liquid and solid bio-fuels. Both are used in SecAnim’s own bubbling fluidised bed (BFB) plant, which generates 18,000MW of renewable electricity each year, as well as steam that is used by the company’s two on-site rendering plants.

This facility was a world first when opened in 2000. Built following the BSE crisis, the plant ensures that there is a safe, secure and sustainable solution in place should such crises happen again – which did happen in 2001 with Foot & Mouth disease. The SecAnim plant forms part of the Government’s strategic response for food chain emergencies, ensuring that all material is safely destroyed. Just recently, the facility has undergone a major refurbishment to improve its performance and reduce its environmental impact.

Smith adds: “The work we do here is a vital part of the North West’s thriving food industry. For the last 90 years, we have been developing innovative solutions for handling food chain by-products and we’re delighted to be able to showcase these facilities, both of which set the benchmark for recovering food industry waste and transforming it into a valuable resource.”

SARIA’s operations in the UK are active in a wide range of sectors associated with the food chain, manufacturing quality products for use in human and animal foodstuffs, agriculture, aquaculture, and industrial applications. To find out more about the SARIA Group, visit http://www.saria.co.uk.