Lafarge’s Cauldon works, Staffordshire, has been granted the approval of the Environment Agency (EA) to reduce its fossil fuel use by a quarter, replacing it with processed sewage pellets (PSP). The project is hailed as the first in the UK and at the forefront of alternative fuel use in Europe.
The pellets are made from the sludge that remains after sewage treatment and will be sourced at Northumbrian Water’s £230m Bran Sands processing plant, which processes about 1.5Mt of North-East sludge. The use of the pellets as alternative fuel source will go a long way to reduce the demand for landfill space and their use as fertiliser, and in land reclamation – options formerly selected by Northumbrian Water.
Cauldon plant manager Ian Mycock said: “It really makes a difference because our fuel and energy bills are one of our major costs.” The pellets will be added to a fuel mix at the works, which already uses tyre chips in addition to fossil fuels such as coal and petcoke. As a result, Cauldon will operate with almost half of its heat energy derived from alternative fuels. This will help the company meet its self-imposed target of cutting its carbon dioxide emissions by 20 per cent between 1990 and 2010 as well as meeting UK government emission targets.