Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) has entered into a GPB13.5m deal to construct a biogas plant at a former landfill site at Barkip, North Ayrshire. The plant is expected to be operational by 2011.

The Barkip site will be capable of processing around 75,000 tonnes of waste annually, producing around 2.5MW of renewable electricity. The anaerobic digestion biogas plant will use a high temperature thermophilic two stage digestion process supplied by Danish technology supplier Xergi.

Project partner William Tracey has signed a 25-year contract to supply feedstock materials for the plant. Suitable materials will include waste foods, manures and organic effluent sludges.

Ian Marchant, chief executive of SSE, said: “SSE is excited about entering the biogas market, which we believe offers opportunities beyond on-site electricity generation to include connections to the gas distribution network in the future.

“This new project will enable SSE to gain experience in owning and operating this technology so we are well placed to bring that knowledge to future projects in Scotland.”

The biogas project was co-developed by Zebec Biogas. According to SSE, Zero Waste Scotland will invest GBP2.2m in the project from its Organics Capital Grants program, which funds new food and garden waste recycling facilities in Scotland.