MULTI MILLION POUND DIGESTION PLANT FOR FENLAND COULD PRODUCE POWER AND JOBS

PUBLISHED: 12:46 03 February 2009 | UPDATED: 11:45 29 April 2010

Mark Harrod

Mark Harrod

EXCLUSIVE By JOHN ELWORTHY A MULTI million pound anaerobic digestion plant capable of producing 2.5MW of electricity is to be built in Fenland. Mark Harrod, chairman of Lifecrown- parent company of vegetable packing factory Fenmarc- today announced detai

EXCLUSIVE

By JOHN ELWORTHY

A MULTI million pound anaerobic digestion plant capable of producing 2.5MW of electricity is to be built in Fenland.

Mark Harrod, chairman of Lifecrown- parent company of vegetable packing factory Fenmarc- today announced details of the plant which he hopes to build off the A141 in March.

He described the estimated £9-12 million cost as the company's "biggest ever capital project." It will generate sufficient electricity for 1,500 homes.

Mr Harrod says the plant, if permission is granted, will be built behind Fenmarc's factory and will use a combination of potato waste from their own companies and waste from other firms.

Agreeing some people may be surprised he was going ahead in an economic downturn, Mr Harrod said: "Our view is that if we secure the funding for this, we will never build it cheaper than we will in the next 18 months.

"The cost of money is relatively cheap and I have built my business on borrowing, not a dirty word but a great way to grow a business. Borrowed money, used responsibly, can create opportunities and returns and I can't think of better conditions presenting themselves in my lifetime.

"If you can get the money, the cost of that money is very competitive and from a building point of view we expect to do well in tendering."

Mr Harrod is part of a subsidiary, Local Generation Ltd that will build the renewable energy anaerobic digestion plant that he hopes will create an extra 15 jobs locally.

A formal planning application is being submitted during the spring and with a target start up date in the second half of next year.

"The company will be running a local consultation to explain what is proposed and seek comments from local residents to improve the scheme," he said.

He added that Lifecrown, which employs some 750 people and enjoys a £100 million a year turnover, believes the new plant "ticks all the right boxes".

He said: "This project addresses two of today's most pressing problems, climate change and food waste management. By treating energy as a precious resource we can maximise its value.


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