Plans for ‘gas to grid’ digestion plant appear

An anaerobic digestion plant to convert food waste into gas could be built on land in Pinchbeck.  Photo (TIM WILSON): SG200815-153TW.
An anaerobic digestion plant to convert food waste into gas could be built on land in Pinchbeck. Photo (TIM WILSON): SG200815-153TW.

Plans for an eight-acre waste-to-power plant in Pinchbeck have been made public after fears that the scheme has been put forward “on the quiet”.

An anaerobic digestion plant to convert agricultural and food waste into bio-methane gas is in the pipeline for land in Wardentree Lane under plans by Staffordshire-based renewable energy firm ET (EnviTec) Biogas Ventures Ltd.

The company hopes to have the plant, including four 100 cubic meter liquid storage tanks, three 6.700 cubic meter digester tanks and two 240 cubic meter feed hoppers, built and operating by the end of this year or the start of 2016.

A public meeting took place at Spalding’s Woodlands Hotel on Wednesday, but a couple living and working near the proposed site claimed that most people in Pinchbeck had not been told.

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

“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 main reason we’re concerned though is that nobody knew about this and it’s just come from nowhere.

“It’s worrying because we live here and it’s going to affect us massively, but we think ET Biogas Ventures has done it on the quiet.”

Plans by the same company for a £12 million anaerobic digestion plant in Peterborough have been strongly opposed by residents and councillors over fears to do with noise and smell.

But figures from the UK Green Investment Bank showed that there were almost 170 plants in the UK, creating an investment in the energy sector of £160 million over the last 18 months. An extract from a report on anaerobic digestion by Friends of the Earth said: “Currently, much of our bidegradable waste such as food, garden waste, card and paper is sent to landfil where it breaks down to release methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.

“Anaerobic digestion is a treatment that composts this waste, in the absence of oxygen, producing a biogas that can be used to generate electricity and heat.”

Alan Bell, project developer for ET Biogas Ventures, said: “The public consultation event went well and we were able to speak to people on a one-to-one basis about this application which is significantly different to other anaerobic digestation plants in the UK as everything will be done inside the main building.”