Quarry giant takes controlling stake in green energy company
Martin Haworth at the Singleton Birch anaerobic digestion site.
By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 23 Feb 2018
Singleton Birch has bought the company that supported its diversification into renewable energy generation.
The northern Lincolnshire lime quarrying specialist has bought a 75 per cent share of PlanET Biogas UK, one of the world's leading anaerobic digestion plant manufacturers.
The deal will see PlanET Biogas UK relocate from its existing headquarters in Banbury, Oxfordshire, to Singleton Birch's Melton Ross base.
The two companies have previously worked together when Singleton Birch commissioned it to build a plant at its sprawling site in 2014, going on to add further developments on third party land, and expanding capacity of the initial venture from 500KW to 2MW.
The aim was to reduce the high energy costs associated with quarrying and led to the establishment of a new company, Birch Energy, in 2015.
Now the majority holding in PlanET Biogas UK, acquired from the German parent, will give Singleton Birch further reach in the renewables market.
Martin Haworth, Singleton Birch technical director, said: "Our own biogas plants have demonstrated the strength and value of renewable energy and this convinced us it was an area we should be moving into.
"Although there are several hundred biogas plants across the country, it is a relatively new industry in the UK and there a number of opportunities for growth.
"At Singleton Birch, we have a longstanding reputation for excellence and this is something we will bring to biogas plant owners and operators in the UK and around the world."
The company will offer consultancy work for existing biogas plants on both a contract and project basis, including servicing and maintenance to optimise yield, improve performance, reduce downtime and ensure smooth running.
This service side of the business complements work already being done by Singleton Birch’s technical services division in the utilities sector, where anaerobic digestion has been used in water treatment for decades.
Singleton Birch also operates a waste division in landfill, recycling and waste treatment and owns Innovo Chemicals, which provides products for the plastics, rubber and coatings industries.
While diversifications have expanded in recent years, its core business remains chalk and lime products which are produced from the same Melton Ross site where mineral merchant William Singleton Birch first leased land to establish the firm in 1815.
The Singleton Birch anaerobic digestion plant at Melton Ross.
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