Potato anaerobic digestion plant to cut Branston electricity demand by 40%

An anaerobic digestion plant at Branston‘s headquarters in Lincoln will use low value potatoes and peelings to produce enough electricity to cut the firm’s reliance on grid electricity by 40%.

Work started on the plant last week, project director Vee Gururajan told Farmers Weekly at British Potato 2009. “Three to four years ago we started to measure our carbon footprint and found electricity was the major factor.”

The anaerobic digester would allow the company to make a “step-change” reduction in its electricity use, he said.

Around 10,000t a year of low value potatoes that would otherwise go for stock feed, along with waste and peelings from the pre-pack factory, would power the plant to produce around 300KwE.

The project was costing £1.4m with £450,000 coming from Rural Development (RDPE) funding via the East Midlands Development Agency, he said.

The firm was also constructing a water recycling plant that would cut water use by 60%.

“The key is low carbon is low cost. Yes, we’re cutting our carbon footprint, which will allow us to keep our Carbon Trust accreditation, and it is good for the environment, but it also means we’re cutting our electricity and water use and saving money too.”

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