UK based firms JFS & Associates and Iona Capital have commissioned the £18m biogas anaerobic digestion (AD) plant at Leeming in North Yorkshire.

Claimed to be one of the largest anaerobic digestion plants in the country, the Leeming biogas facility is designed to generate gas by breaking down food waste and capturing the natural biomethane released from it.

Later, the resulting gas will be fed directly into the national grid.

JFS & Associates director Matt Flint said: "The development of this Anaerobic Digestion plant is the biggest project JFS & Associates has undertaken.

"The project is a real example of how renewable technology, local resources and businesses can collaborate with City investors to develop a sustainable and environmentally friendly commercial enterprise."

The facility will process to 80,000t of waste every year which will be sourced from local businesses including R&R Ice Cream, which is said to be world’s third largest ice cream manufacturer.

The waste is converted into green energy rather than being sent to landfill. The energy produced is expected to power nearly 4,000 homes a year.

Iona Capital managing partner Mike Dunn said: "This could not have been achieved without the support of some of the largest UK local authority pension funds, who remain committed to investing in environmental infrastructure projects that help our environment and create jobs.

"The plant has helped local businesses cut costs and boost their environmental credentials by partnering with us, and we look forward to exploring further opportunities to increase sustainable energy production in North Yorkshire."

The plant is designed to contribute to the government’s aim to reduce landfill and generate sustainable energy by 2020.