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£5m waste conversion gas plant build begins

Work has started on a £5m plant that will see food waste turned into renewable gas.

Green energy firm Bio Group has teamed-up with British Gas to create the facility, on the site of the former Ashton Road Landfill site, in Stockport. The Fairfield Bio Energy plant will be open in Autumn 2012 and will generate enough energy to supply 1,400 north west homes a year.

Bio Group chief executive Steve Sharratt told the M.E.N said his firm had ambitions to build 50 more similar facilities in the coming years, including some in the region.

An initial wave of 20 jobs has been created by building the plant, which will use food waste from nearby hotels, restaurants and British Gas offices to generate renewable gas.

An event to mark the start of construction on the site was attended by Hazel Grove MP and communities and local government minister Andrew Stunell, as well as Stockport Council leader Coun Dave Goddard.

Mr Sharratt said: “This will be the second facility we have built in the UK and the second to supply energy to the National Grid.

“We are delighted to be able to make a real difference to energy provision in the region and there will be hopefully a few more in the north west in the years to come.

The plants are best placed in areas where there are good quantities of food waste that we don’t have to transport for long distances, which is what made this site attractive to us.”

Mr Stunell said: “On a national and local level, the development of green technologies will make a real difference to customers and to the environment. We are delighted in Stockport to welcome Bio Group and their Fairfield Bio Energy plant.”

The project will be the UK’s first purpose-built site to benefit from the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive, which incentivises green gas generation by paying the supplier a premium above the actual gas price.

All food waste for the plant will be collected by Solutions SK. It will process around 12,500 of food a year, turning it into 1.2m cubic metres of green gas.