Some of you will already have heard that the AD project has been put on hold for 6 to 12 months. I would like to explain why we have made this decision.
We now have a much clearer idea of the quantities of feedstock our local farmers can provide; this is less than we would need to run an AD plant of the size we had envisaged but does indicate that a smaller plant is still a possibility. However we have been advised that, currently, smaller plants are less economically viable than the size of plant we were considering and therefore there is a lower return for both farmers and the community.
The farmers have told us of various issues they feel should be addressed before the project can move on. One of these is the value (both economically and in relation to mineral content) of the digestate in comparison with that of the artificial fertiliser in use at the moment.
These two factors underpin our decision to put our AD scheme on hold for a time whilst we (Lyvennet Renewable Energy) accept the invitation from the Centre for Process Innovation to contribute to the Technology Strategy Board project ‘Innovative Small Scale Anaerobic Technology: providing a cost effective process solution for locally produced organic waste.’
Working alongside our partners, Anaerobic Energy Ltd, and their associates, the TSB project will :
work towards the development of a new and cheaper form of AD plant and technology which will provide a higher yield of biogas and improve the financial returns of the plant.
determine the real value of the digestate to the farming community. To do this, we will ship agreed quantities of feedstock from our farms to the experimental AD plant at the CPI complex at Redcar. The resultant digestate will be tested so that its actual value can be determined and compared with normal nitrogen fertiliser. The research findings will be shared with the farmers.
Our decision to postpone further work on the AD project was made after much thought, numerous conversations with farmers and discussions with Anaerobic Energy Ltd. We would like to thank those farmers who have patiently and loyally stuck with us during the past two years; and a special thank you to so many of you in the villages for the support and encouragement you have given us. The TSB project will help us better quantify the benefits to both our local farmers and the community and will, if successful, improve the economic returns of the plant, an outcome which we believe is worth waiting for.
We will continue to use Link to keep you informed of progress on the TSB project.
Maureen Newrick, Peter Ward