Surgo has been awarded a £3m contract to build two anaerobic digester plants for developer JFS & Associates.
It is the contractor’s first project in the energy sector.
Surgo will build 21m-diameter by 6m-high concrete tanks at sites in Cumbria and North Yorkshire, working with a a German technology company. Surgo will also construct silage clamps and carry out associated drainage and external works on each 7,000 sqm site.
Working on a joint venture basis with farmers and landowners, JFS has plans to build, own and operate 25 or more plus anaerobic digester plants.
Once completed each 250kw digester will produce biogas from digested manures, slurries and grass and maize silage. This biogas will then be used to fuel a combined heat and power plant (CHP), which will produce enough electricity for up to 250 homes. In addition, the waste heat from the CHP can be used for domestic heating or further diversification such as grain drying on farm. The digested material is then used on farm as a valuable bio-fertiliser.
JFS managing director Peter Johnson said: “We are delighted to be working with Surgo Construction on development of the first two plants. We have a further four schemes that are due to commence over the next six months. Surgo has approached these projects in a fresh and collaborative manner and we have every confidence that they will successfully deliver both schemes on time and on budget. “
He added: “The government is encouraging the development of anaerobic digestion across the country. For the farmers it is a win- win situation. Without the need to invest any of their own money they benefit from rental income and a percentage of the feed-in tariff, as well as free heat which is generated from burning off the greenhouse gases and finally, they are able use the highly nutritious fertilizer left behind by the waste material presenting a significant cost saving.”
Surgo director Jeff Alexander said: “We have been keen to get a foothold in the energy sector for some time and are extremely pleased to have this opportunity to work with JFS. I am confident that we will deliver both schemes successfully allowing us to make our mark, as we have in other sectors including education, social housing and healthcare, in what I believe will be a developing sector for us."