£72 million sludge treatment facility for Leeds given the go ahead

Posted: Tuesday 20th September 2016

A £72 million new state-of the-art sludge treatment and anaerobic digestion facility at Yorkshire Water's Knostrop works in the centre of Leeds has just been given the go ahead.

Yorkshire Water's planning proposal for the bio-energy facility was approved by Leeds City Council's planning committee and the contract has been awarded to Black & Veatch with the civil engineering element being delivered by Clugston Construction Limited.

Knostrop waste water treatment works on Knowsthorpe Lane has been treating sewage from domestic properties and industry for approximately 100 years. The new facility will replace the existing sludge and bio-solid incinerator which was constructed in 1993 and enable the more efficient and effective treatment of sewage combined with the additional benefit of renewable power production from the waste water effluent.

Nevil Muncaster, Director of Asset Management, said; "This is the single biggest investment of our current investment period (2015-2020) and will not only provide increased treatment capacity for our sludges but will also deliver significant operational cost savings enabling us to keep customer bills as low as possible."

"Knostrop is designated as a strategic waste site so by increasing the future sludge and bio-solid treatment capacity of the works the project will support also growth in the Leeds sub-regions."

Planned for completion in 2019 the facility will be capable of processing 131 tonnes of dry sludge a day and will generate enough renewable energy, using heat and power engines, to provide 55% of Knostrop's energy needs - enough to power 8,000 homes.

Benefits of the new facility;

15% reduction in carbon emissions across the company

provide 55% of the site's energy needs

contribute to achieving 94% recycling of the region's sludge by 2020

The project is the latest step in Yorkshire Water's commitment to invest in renewable energy to benefit the environment and keep customers' bills low, and supports Leeds council's ambition for the Lower Aire Valley to become a hub for green energy and industry. The company intends to generate approximately 18% of its energy needs by 2020.

On October 2014 a 123 metre high wind turbine was constructed at Knostrop which stands 12 meters taller than landmark building Bridgewater Place. This structure, which cost around £3.5 million, is already a major source of power for the Knostrop site and will on average provide 10% of Knostrop's energy needs.

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