Yorkshire Water starts work on £30m 'poo-power' scheme
Bradford, UK – Yorkshire Water has started work on a £30-million project to install the UK’s first BioThelys sludge treatment plant. The facility will create energy from human waste and effluent.
The project is located at the 750-acre Esholt sewage works on the outskirts of Bradford - one of Yorkshire Water’s largest facilities, receiving up to 300 litres of waste water a second which it treats before discharging it into the River Aire.
The creation of the UK’s first BioThelys thermal hydrolysis plant will enable Yorkshire Water to save around £1.3 million a year at the Esholt site alone, the company said.
The Yorkshire works produces around 26,000 tonnes of sludge as a byproduct each year. This is currently disposed of mainly through incineration or landfill.
The new plant will employ Veolia’s thermal hydrolysis system (Biothelys) combined with anaerobic digestion (AD) to dispose of the sludge. It will take around 18 months to complete and is expected to be commissioned in early 2013.
The process uses heat and pressure to break down sewage sludge prior to treatment by AD, which creates energy-rich biogas. This can then be burned to produce electricity, which in turn will be used to power much of the plant.
The digested sludge generated following thermal hydrolysis is classified as ’enhanced treated’. This can be legally used as a fertiliser or soil conditioner for agricultural crops and for horticulture.
Yorkshire Water’s annual electricity bill is around £45 million with 70% of its carbon footprint - 453,000 tonnes of CO2e - coming from electricity, according to Ben Roche, manager of energy and carbon.
“At the moment we already generate a third of the energy we use on site at Esholt through renewable energy technologies, but our aim is for this huge facility to become fully energy self-sufficient by 2015.”
Yorkshire Water has awarded the £28m contract for the design and build of a pioneering new energy scheme to a JV between engineering specialists Morgan Sindall, and Grontmij.
The contract, worth £25m to Morgan Sindall, is part of Yorkshire Water’s AMP5 large projects framework, to which the JV was appointed in September 2010.