DONG Energy prepares to unveil world-first waste treatment technology

07.11.2016 10:00

​Next year DONG Energy will open its brand new waste treatment facility, REnescience Northwich, which will separate household waste from recyclable materials and generate energy at the same time.


 The plant will use DONG Energy's patented REnescience technology and will be the first full-scale bio plant in the world capable of handling household waste through enzymes, mechanical sorting and anaerobic digestion.


Following 10 years of testing and operation of a scale demo in Denmark, the plant in Northwich, UK is making good progress and DONG Energy has appointed an experienced sales team to explore global opportunities for the technology.


Lars Kruse joined the company in June as Head of Global Sales. Prior to DONG Energy he worked at K2 Management, Alstom Power and Bombardier in countries all over the globe including Germany, Denmark and Brazil.


"My background has always been in energy or waste to energy so although this technology is new I feel very comfortable in this area," says Lars.


 "The facility has been designed in such a way that it's been possible to scale up or scale down, and it's easily transferable across the world.


"I think my background and experience in working and growing businesses globally will be useful. Internationally, we're analysing which markets we should approach and carefully selecting partners."


"Although DONG Energy is very well established in wind energy, this project in waste is not just a first for them, but a global first, so I still feel the buzz of a start-up whilst being supported by the great reputation of the company."


The Northwich plant is due to be operational in April 2017 and construction is progressing well. Initial commissioning has begun and first waste arrives early in February 2017. It is expected that 67% of the investment and operational costs of the plant will be spent in the UK.


Heading up UK Sales is Alister Veitch, who joined DONG Energy in August from Biogen, the leading UK food waste anaerobic digestion company


"The patented technology converts waste into energy without combustion, as well as extracting valuable recyclable materials, which is an entirely new way of treating household waste. It's fantastic that the first commercial operational plant will be here in the UK."


 "It's an exciting and rewarding project to work on, and nice to be paving the way with such an innovative technology."


The REnescience Northwich plant can treat 15 tonnes of household waste per hour or up to 120,000 tonnes per year. This corresponds to the waste from approximately 110,000 homes (based on UK usage). Once operational, the site will generate approximately 5 megawatts of renewable power as well as produce clean recyclable material (plastic and metals), that can be used to create new plastic and metal based products.


A by-product of the process – called digestate - can be used as a top-soil to fertilise non-food short rotation energy crops such as willow and miscanthus.


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