No sign yet of waste-to-gas site in Pinchbeck

German renewable energy firm Envitec Biogas was given consent by Lincolnshire County Council in December 2015 to build an anerobic digester plant in Pinchbeck.
German renewable energy firm Envitec Biogas was given consent by Lincolnshire County Council in December 2015 to build an anerobic digester plant in Pinchbeck.
  • No sign yet of waste-to-gas site in village

Work is yet to get under way on an eight-acre waste-to-biogas plant in Pinchbeck, six months after getting planning permission.

Staffordshire-based renewable energy firm ET Biogas Ventures Ltd first made its interest known of turning land off Wardentree Lane into an anerobic digestion plant, converting agricultural and food waste into bio-methane gas, when it held a public meeting in Spalding last August.

Coun Elizabeth Sneath, Lincolnshire County Council member for Spalding Elloe, opposed plans for an anerobic digester plant in Pinchbeck.  Photo by Tim Wilson.

Coun Elizabeth Sneath, Lincolnshire County Council member for Spalding Elloe, opposed plans for an anerobic digester plant in Pinchbeck. Photo by Tim Wilson.

At the time, ET Biogas Ventures’ project developer Alan Bell said it would be “significantly different to other anerobic digestation plants in the UK as everything will be done inside the main building”.

The plant would include a technical operations centre, with three 6,700 cubic metre digester tanks, four 12.5 metre high liquid storage tanks and a 16.5 metre high digestate storage tank capable of storing material that can be used as fertiliser for 74 days.

But there was some opposition to the scheme, including from a couple living and working near the site who said: “The main reason we’re concerned is that it’s just come from nowhere.”

The couple, who asked not to be named, added: “We understand that ET Biogas Ventures is going to use sugar beet, maize, left-over cabbage and other waste to make bio-methane gas.

Operators are looking for a number of factors to ensure biomethane (gas) can be delivered successfully and with confidence into the UK energy market

UK director Mike McLaughlin, ET Biogas Ventures Ltd

“But when we asked them ‘why don’t you go out in a field in the middle of the country, well away from homes?’ they said that they needed the gas mains to convert the waste into bio-methane and then get it onto lorries for delivery.”

The matter seemingly came to a conclusion when Lincolnshire County Council’s planning and regulation committee approved the plans by 11 votes to two, with two abstentions, last December.

A report to the council said: “It has been demonstrated that appropriate safeguarding and controls can be implemented to ensure the proposed development would not have an adverse impact on the area.”

The Spalding Guardian approached Mr Bell for an update on the plant, but he declined to comment.

According to the London-based Renewable Energy Association, the UK biogas and renewable energy industry is now worth nearly £16 billion and employs more 116,00 people.

But there is no sign yet of anerobic digestation getting under way in Pinchbeck, more than six months after ET Biogas Ventures Ltd won the right to build its plant on land off Wardentree Lane.

Speaking last May, the firm’s UK director Mike McLaughlin said: “Operators are looking for a number of factors to ensure biomethane (gas) can be delivered successfully and with confidence into the UK energy market.

“Trusted technology, with high performance attributes, is vitally important (as) is the presence of an established service and support network, which can be relied upon now and for the future.”

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