Multi-million pound recycling plant officially opens on A505 between Baldock and Royston

The Bygrave Lodge anaerobic digestion plant was officially opened earlier this month.

The Bygrave Lodge anaerobic digestion plant was officially opened earlier this month. - Credit: Archant

A £12m food recycling plant which has already become a landmark for motorists using the A505 between Baldock and Royston has now been officially opened.

The Bygrave Lodge anaerobic digestion plant will be able to process 45,000 tonnes of food waste from household and commercial sources each year to generate renewable energy for the grid, as well as creating agricultural fertiliser for farmland use.

The plant – the first of its kind in Hertfordshire – is run by Biogen, which takes food waste from supermarkets and grocery suppliers including Ocado and Asda as well as local firms such as Simmons Bakeries, which has shops in Hitchin, Letchworth and Stevenage.

Biogen chief executive Julian O’Neill said: “The project has been a huge success, delivered on time and to budget and most importantly, safely.”

Kier invested £24.4m in anaerobic digestion specialists Biogen in 2012, making them joint venture partners with founders and initial investors Bedfordia Group.

Haydn Mursell, chief executive of Kier, said: “With the energy crisis ever-present, and the need to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels intensifying all the time, there is an exciting future for Biogen.

“The vital contribution that facilities like Bygrave Lodge make to supplying the national grid is only going to increase.”

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Bygrave Lodge can produce 2.1mw of green electricity, enough to power Baldock continually for an entire year.