Food waste processing plant wins government grant

By Mike Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Methane Greenhouse gas Anaerobic digestion

“Absolutely essential,” is how Shaun Flynn, business development manager for the Selby Renewable Energy Park, describes government funding of £1.7m to the project.

The initiative could not have gone ahead without the funding made through the government’s Waste Resources Action Programme (WRAP), he told

The grant has provided the funding to start construction next month and has also helped to unlock other much needed funding in form of an important (​as yet unnamed) equity partner​,” he said.

The Selby plant will be the UK’s largest anaerobic digestion plant with the capacity to treat 165,000t of food waste per year, drawn from a 50-mile radius, which would otherwise have been sent to landfill sites. Food waste will be supplied from supermarkets, food processing firms, caterers and local authorities.

The plant will create 40 jobs on site and generate 8 MW of energy; enough to power 10,800 homes, according to the developers.

Regional development

In addition to the £1.7m received through WRAP’s Organics Capital Grant Fund, the £20m project is also receiving £750,000 from Future Energy Yorkshire, which is funded by the regional development organization Yorkshire Forward.

Construction at the site is due to start next month. Opening is scheduled for September or October next year​,” said Flynn. About 75 per cent of the plant’s waste capacity has now been accounted for; leaving 40,000t still to fill, he added.

The first stage of the anaerobic digester will save nearly 20,000t of CO2 emissions per year, significantly contributing to regional greenhouse gas emission targets, said Future Energy Yorkshire.

Its funding manager Jemma Benson said: “Future Energy Yorkshire sees the SelbyRenewableEnergyPark as an important development for the region. Through generating renewable electricity it will contribute to carbon emission reduction targets, create new jobs and divert waste from landfill. With this in mind it was an ideal project for us to invest in​.”

Renewable energy

Also repayment of the investment will enable more renewable energy projects to be supported in the Yorkshire and Humber region.

Jim Farmery, assistant director of Yorkshire Forward said: “Yorkshire Forward funds Future Energy Yorkshire to support energy projects that will deliver significant greenhouse gas savings and economic benefits to the region. The anaerobic digester at SelbyRenewableEnergyPark is an excellent example of this​.”

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