THE anaerobic digester which provides electricity to power AGRO Merchants Group’s 35-acre site on Whitchurch Business Park took centre stage at this year’s Temperature Controlled Storage & Distribution (TCS&D) Awards.

Commissioned in the autumn of 2017, the digester provides a long-term sustainable energy supply and means AGRO’s multi-temperature warehouses are being run solely by green energy as the grid supplier Orsted has certified their supply as 100 per cent renewable energy.

The TCS&D awards recognise excellence in storage and distribution and the project was pitched against some stiff competition from some of the major players in the industry.

The former owners of the business, Grocontinental, came up with the plan to install the digester after researching a number of successful agricultural digesters in Shropshire.

Speaking about the project, AGRO Merchants’ finance director Steve Simmons said: “We believe the digester is a first for our industry and is an innovative green energy project.

“The project was devised following historical issues of securing a consistent and sufficient electricity supply to power warehouses at the Whitchurch site.

“During the last two winters, on most days, the plant has provided around 90 per cent of the energy required by the site.

“During the summer months, when the refrigeration systems have to work much harder, the output is around 70 per cent of the energy requirement.

“After all the effort that went into getting the digester up-and-running, it’s excellent to receive recognition from our industry with the win at the TCS&D Awards.

“The bottom line is that renewable energy is vital for our future and the anaerobic digester plant will provide a secure supply of green electricity for years to come.”