ReFood UK – AD Installation Permit Support

Project Brief

WRM were commissioned by ReFood UK Ltd (ReFood) to aid in the completion of a bespoke permit application for a proposed biomethane to grid Anaerobic Digestion Plant.  The plant was to be situated at Desoto Road, Widnes, designed to process 120,000 tonnes of food waste and produce biomethane at the rate of approximately 1200m³hr. The proposed deployed technology added complexity as the ionisation odour treatment unit was not identified as a Best Available Technique (BAT) due to the novel nature of this technology. WRM were employed to demonstrate its suitability and obtain consent to operate with permit conditions that would not hinder commercial operations.

WRM have an excellent technical understanding of the permitting process our our requirements. We continue to use WRM as a partner we can rely on to help us continually develop our AD assets.

Mark Baker - Group AD Manager


To start the process, WRM first established which components were required by ReFood in order to complete the bespoke permit. After identifying the required documents, WRM directly liaised with ReFood and the Environment Agency in order to gather the necessary information and complete the documents in a timely manner.

The documents identified for the completion of the permit were:

  • BAT Assessment—this was undertaken to demonstrate that ReFood’s proposed activities were to be carried out in line with the Best Available Techniques (BAT). As this was for a novel treatment technology, WRM identified operational parameters and technical design data to provide confidence to the regulator that this was a suitable solution, providing acceptable protection to local sensitive receptors.
  • Air Quality Impact Assessment—this was undertaken to model potential air emissions originating at site and how they would disperse from site due to the operational layout. This included options modelling for flare location and run hours.
  • Odour Management Plan—this was undertaken to identify the potential for odour at the site and to scrutinise the proposed odour mitigation measures. The plan followed the requirements of the H4 Guidance and was approved with a novel odour treatment technology being deployed.

WRM worked hand in hand with the ReFood engineering team and operational manager to ensure that the correct technical information was presented and operational requirements were maintained.


The bespoke permit was successfully granted on 06/08/2014, meeting the client deadline to ensure commissioning ahead of schedule. Following the successful granting of the permit for the Widnes site, WRM have been commissioned on multiple occasions to undertake further work for ReFood. Following projects have included supporting an expansion of the Widnes site and supporting the development of a new AD facility in Dagenham.


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