PDM invests £6m in site expansion

FOOD waste recycler PDM is to double the size of its ReFood anaerobic digestion (AD) plant in South Yorkshire.

The operation in Doncaster was ReFood’s first AD plant in the UK and has been operational since 2011.

Construction work on the £6m expansion is due to start in January and is expected to last six months.

The investment will make ReFood Doncaster the largest food waste AD plant in the UK, until PDM’s planned Dagenham plant is finished.

The facility, which already employs 35 people, will create 30 new jobs across drivers, sales, admin, operations and maintenance.

The company has secured planning consent to accept 160,000 tonnes of food waste at Doncaster that would otherwise go to landfill.

The plant will generate electricity through combined heat and power (CHP) and will have a total capacity of 5MWh, which will be fed into the national grid. A nutrient-rich liquid fertiliser will also be produced by the AD process and will be used by farmers in the local area to grow new crops.

ReFood is also investing £20m in a new facility in Widnes which is due to become operational in Spring 2014 as well as £30m in a state of the art plant in Dagenham, due to open at the start of 2015. Both Widnes and Dagenham will operate a gas-to-grid system.

Philip Simpson, commercial director at ReFood, part of PDM Group, said: “We are delighted to have received planning consent for this plant. The increased capacity gained will help us to ensure that more food waste can be transformed into renewable energy and valuable nutrients to go back onto the land.

“Since the launch of Vision 2020: UK roadmap to zero food waste to landfill we have seen a clear desire from the local government, hospitality sector and retail to prevent food waste to landfill.

“As a company we are striving to have the necessary infrastructure in place in order to achieve zero food waste to landfill by the end of the decade. Food waste is a valuable asset and as a company we are committed to delivering the most advanced solutions for dealing with food waste and maximising its value as a resource.”

PDM is involved in the collection and processing of animal by-products for pet foods, production of animal and vegetable fats for cooking and de-boned meat ingredients for savoury foods and soups as well as the sale of frozen fish and meat to fast food chains.