A Co. Tyrone anaerobic digestion (AD) plant has become the first in the UK to be certified under a scheme launched just six weeks ago at the ADBA (Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association) National Conference.

The plant – Granville Ecopark – treats organic waste to produce renewable energy.

In September 2017, Granville Ecopark also became the first plant to obtain a prosperity agreement with the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA).

The agreement means the two parties have pledged to work together to develop innovative solutions to maximise energy production and deliver environmental initiatives.

Granville Ecopark has also been recognised as market development leaders with a prestigious award from Sustainable Ireland for its work in food waste and the circular economy.

The AD Certification Scheme (ADCS) is an industry-led initiative that recognises good operational, environmental, and health and safety performance at AD plants.

The scheme was launched just six weeks ago at the Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association’s (ADBA) National Conference 2017 following a successful pilot earlier in the year involving three different AD plants.

The ADCS has been developed in collaboration with a range of industry stakeholders including regulators, insurers, investors, and operators and is managed by ADBA, the UK’s trade body for AD.

Granville Ecopark, Co. Tyrone

The largest in Ireland

Granville Ecopark is the largest AD facility in Ireland, taking only food waste as a resource and has capacity to export 4.8 MWe of renewable electricity onto Northern Ireland’s local grid.

Recent expansion now allows the plant to clean up excess biogas into biomethane, which is transported all over Northern Ireland to power combined heat and power engines and create renewable heat and electricity for its customers.

‘It will drive us to remain at the top’

David McKee, technical director at Granville Ecopark, said: “We are delighted to be the first UK AD plant certified under this new scheme. It gives us the confidence that we are attaining the highest standards within the industry and will drive us forward to remain at the top.

“We hope that others will now follow in our footsteps and apply for certification to help boost their environmental credentials and further highlight how important the AD industry is for the future of renewable energy throughout the UK.”

Charlotte Morton, ADBA chief executive, added: “To have the first plant certified under the ADCS just six weeks after the scheme was launched is hugely encouraging and shows the support within the AD industry for raising its performance across the board and recognising good practice in running plants.”