Leeds Gets Approval for £72 million Sludge Treatment Facility

A brand new state-of-the-art anaerobic digestion and sludge treatment facility has been given the go-ahead, with Yorkshire Water’s Knostrop works in the centre of Leeds to be the site of its construction. The treatment facility is set to cost £72 million pounds.


The planning proposal for the bio-energy facility was carried out by Yorkshire Water and got the nod of approval from the Leeds City Council’s planning committee. Black & Veatch has been awarded the contract, while Clugston Construction Limited will make up for the all-important civil engineering element.

Located on Knowsthorpe Lane, Knostrop Waste Water Treatment Works has been treating sewage from domestic properties and industry for about 100 years. The new facility will replace the existing sludge and bio-solid incinerator which was constructed in 1993 and enable the more efficient and effective treatment of sewage combined with the additional benefit of renewable power production from the waste water effluent.

Nevil Muncaster, Director of Asset Management, said; “This is the single biggest investment of our current investment period (2015-2020) and will not only provide increased treatment capacity for our sludges but will also deliver significant operational cost savings enabling us to keep customer bills as low as possible.”

“Knostrop is designated as a strategic waste site so by increasing the future sludge and bio-solid treatment capacity of the works the project will support also growth in the Leeds sub-regions.”

With its completion planned and scheduled for 2019, the facility’s capabilities will have it processing 131 tonnes of dry sludge per day, generating enough renewable energy using heat and power engines to provide an impressive 55% of the energy needs for Knostrop. That’s enough to power up to 8, 000 homes.

Benefits of the new facility;

• 15% reduction in carbon emissions across the company

• provide 55% of the site’s energy needs

• contribute to achieving 94% recycling of the region’s sludge by 2020

This particular project is the latest step in Yorkshire Water’s commitment to pour investments into renewable energy, so as to benefit the environment while keeping customers’ bills low at the same time. In this way, Yorkshire Water supports Leeds council’s ambition for the Lower Aire Valley to become a hub for green energy and industry. The company intends to generate approximately 18% of its energy needs by 2020.

On October 2014 a 123 metre high wind turbine was constructed at Knostrop which stands 12 meters taller than landmark building Bridgewater Place. This structure, which cost around £3.5 million, is already a major source of power for the Knostrop site and will on average provide 10% of Knostrop’s energy needs.

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