Plant that can convert more than 100,000 tons of waste into energy opens

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Olleco, the renewable division of ABP Food Group, has opened a 15-megawatt anaerobic digestion facility in Aylesbury, England.

The ABP Food Group said Thursday that the new plant, a £22 million ($29.2 million) investment, would generate enough energy to power the equivalent of 12,000 households. The facility is situated next to an Arla dairy.

Olleco's managing director Robert Behan said the new site would "convert in excess of 100,000 tons of waste into heat, power and bio-methane for export to the national grid, and bio-fertilizer for both ABP Food Group's and Arla's farmer suppliers."

ABP said that the new facility would allow the Arla dairy to become "a zero carbon milk processing facility." The Aylesbury plant is the latest attempt by ABP to develop sustainable practices. In 2015, the business opened a carbon neutral abattoir in Ellesmere, England.

Olleco is among a number of businesses using anaerobic digestion to make use of waste that would otherwise be discarded.

U.K. based SEaB Energy, for example, uses compact anaerobic digestion systems in shipping containers to turn organic waste into energy in the form of biogas. This biogas is used to fuel a combined heat and power (CHP) engine, which in turn provides electricity and heat.