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Danish firm heads for Scottish anaerobic digestion market

Denmark’s leading supplier of anaerobic digestion technology Xergi is to build a large anaerobic digestion plant in Scotland.

The agreement which amounts to approximately €8M (£7M) has been entered into with one of the largest energy companies in the UK, Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE).

The Scottish anaerobic digestion plant will be built at Barkip, North Ayrshire. It is expected to be operational for energy production in early 2011 and will contribute to achieving Scottish targets for CO2 reduction.

The plant will be capable of processing 80,000t of organic waste and will produce 2MW of renewable electricity annually. The plant will be the first for both Xergi and SSE in Scotland.

The entire plant will be delivered by Xergi and will convert the organic waste into renewable energy in the form of methane gas and nitrogenous organic fertiliser.

The plant consists of reception facilities, a fully automatic feeding system capable of handling many different types of organic waste, anaerobic digesters with a unique stirring system for the production of methane, a CHP (combined heat and power) unit producing power and heat, and storage tanks for the fertiliser.

SSE chief executive Ian Marchant said: “Biogas has the potential to be one of the most important new generation renewable and sustainable energy solutions available to us, capturing the energy contained in waste.

“SSE is excited about entering the biogas market which we believe offers opportunities beyond on-site electricity generation to include connections to the gas distribution network in the future. This new project will enable SSE to gain experience in owning and operating this technology so we are well placed to bring that knowledge to future projects in Scotland.”

Successful Strategy

Xergi chief executive officer Jørgen Ballermann said: “We are very pleased to be part of SSE’s first anaerobic digestion project. The signing of this contract marks a very important first milestone in a very close and professional cooperation with SSE and project developer Zebec Biogas.

“We see this agreement as a breakthrough for the anaerobic digestion strategy Xergi laid down for the UK market more than two years ago,” he said. “Already back then we chose to be actively present on the UK market and this effort now bears fruit and has led to Xergi being considered a professional supplier of technologically advanced processing plants in the UK.”

Xergi UK country manager Colin Steel said: “This project is indeed a further leap forward and an important step in our establishment on the UK market. Everyone involved in this project should be congratulated in their efforts; we look forward to working closely with SSE in the future.”

Promising International Future

Xergi is currently building its first UK plant near Boston in Lincolnshire, and has apart from Denmark participated in establishing anaerobic digestion plants in Germany, Holland, Belgium and the USA. The company is presently also active on the French and Polish markets and expects several agreements to be entered into in those countries within the coming year.

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