Renewable energy specialist BIOGEN, a 50/50 joint venture between Kier and Bedfordshire based company Bedfordia, has signed a deal with the city of Edinburgh and Midlothian Councils to design and build a new food waste recycling plant.
The anaerobic digestion (AD) plant near Millerhill in Midlothian, will process 30,000 tonnes of waste per year made up of household food waste collected by the local authorities and  food waste from commercial sources in the region. This will generate around 1.4 MW of renewable energy for the grid (sufficient to power between 1,500 and 2,000 households) and also produce a valuable biofertiliser for farmland.
The investment in BIOGEN , alongside Bedfordia,  is part of Kier’s continual growth as it expands and invests in new markets. It builds on the company’s commitment to green energy and enhances its environmental business by providing intelligent solutions for the treatment of food waste, complementing the Pure recycling business that Kier acquired in 2010.
BIOGEN  is working with Alauna Renewable Energy (ARE) in support of its bid for the Zero Waste: Edinburgh and Midlothian Food Waste Treatment Project. ARE is an SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle) formed by Kelda Water Services and Scottish Water Horizons to manage the contract. Once BIOGEN  has completed the AD plant for the SPV, it will be operated by Kelda Organic Energy (Edinburgh) under a subcontract from ARE.
Work on site is planned to begin in February 2014 with the AD plant expected to produce electricity by autumn 2015 and finally being handed over to ARE by 31 December 2015. BIOGEN  has contracted Barhale Plc to manage the civil engineering element of the build.
Nicola Peake, managing director of Kier’s environmental business, said: “We are delighted to have made the investment in BIOGEN , which marks Kier’s ongoing commitment to green energy. As a business we pride ourselves on developing intelligent solutions for our clients and see significant potential in an attractive market for the development of the business in the coming years.”
Richard Barker, chief executive of BIOGEN , said: “We are proud to be partnering Alauna Renewable Energy and the City of Edinburgh and Midlothian Councils in this project. The construction of the AD plant near Millerhill will make a valuable contribution to the Scottish Government’s aim to reduce the amount of waste, including food waste, sent to landfill by 2017. This project is another welcome addition to BIOGEN ’s extremely strong pipeline across the UK. Indeed, we now have live projects in Scotland, England and Wales which confirms, once again, our leading position in the UK market.”