ONE of Teesside’s most high profile environmental campaigners has announced a major new venture after stepping down from his previous role.
John Barton, director of green energy body Renew, is heading up Anaerobic Energy Ltd (AEL) from a base at Wilton, a new waste-to-energy scheme that aims to build 30 manufacturing plants in ten years, creating dozens of jobs.
The venture will convert left-over food, slurry and grass cuttings into electricity and fertiliser, cutting emissions and reducing the amount of waste going to landfill.
Mr Barton is seeking £500,000-£750,000 of working capital and will need additional funding to get the plants up and running. The first one is expected to be operational next year.
The 30 plants will use advanced anaerobic digestion (AD) technology and will be spread all over the UK.
However Mr Barton said Teesside would be a possible base for such a scheme because it already had a ready-made AD supply chain.
He said: “There’s a lot of municipal waste in the area. We have a good supply of farms and a number of food factories.
“AD is one of the few technologies that allows farmers to get value from their waste.”