Fears allayed over plans for anaerobic digester plant in Sibsey

Vernon Read of Staples, Wrangle, near Staple's Anaerobic Digester.
Vernon Read of Staples, Wrangle, near Staple's Anaerobic Digester.

A SIBSEY company has spoken out to allay concerns about its plans for a new methane gas-converting green energy plant.

Staple Bros has been given the go-ahead by Lincolnshire County Council for an anaerobic digester at Station Farm, Sibsey – and spoke out after an anonymous letter was sent to residents claiming the new plant could cause a ‘stink’.

Staple Bros already owns a semi-operation plant in Sea Lane, Wrangle, which converts vegetable and crop waste into green energy, producing enough electricity to power 3,000 homes.

However, an open lagoon at the site has been emitting an unpleasnt smell – leading to concerns about a similar one planned for Sibsey.

“There is some odour coming from the lagoon at Wrangle that we weren’t expecting,” said the firm’s sales director Vernon Read.

“But we are taking immediate remedial steps to address this – and in the next 12 weeks will also be constructing a separate, enclosed lagoon to resolve the problem.”

The plant breaks down the waste vegetation and the methane produced in this process is converted into energy. The digestate liquid left over goes into the lagoon – before being put back onto the fields as fertiliser.

Mr Read said: “If the crops are left to rot in the field they produce the greenhouse gas methane which simply goes up into the atmosphere. What we are doing is capturing that gas in a sealed tank and converting it into green energy.”

A parish council meeting held recently was attended by several concerned residents from Sibsey after receiving the anonymous letter, along with some from Wrangle.

Speaking to The Standard following the meeting one resident, who asked not to be named, said: “There is already one of these plants in Wrangle and when there’s an easterly wind the smell is horrendous.”

Mr Read said: “We don’t want to construct anything that will impact on residents and have no immediate plans to construct one at Sibsey. When we do we will ensure it is fully enclosed.” He concluded: “I have invited anyone with concerns to visit the plant at Wrangle and see for themselves what we are doing.”