Jul 19, 2016

Professionals Discuss Industry Challenges at UK AD & Biogas

Conference session includes representatives from Ham Baker, Ofwat & more

UK AD & Biogas, conference session, water, wastewater, challenges

During a conference session at UK AD & Biogas, Ham Baker’s Business Development Director Ian Goddard was supported by an industry panel. Goddard expressed that water companies should embrace innovation to expand the sewage sludge market, without existing frameworks acting as barriers to new technology.

The session, titled “What challenges and opportunities does the de-regulation of the water sector hold for AD?,” was chaired by Piers Clark from the Isle Group and included presentations from Alison Fergusson, principal engineer of Ofwat’s Water 2020 program; Richard Laikin, U.K. water sector leader, PricewaterhouseCoopers; and Steve Bungay of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management.

Fergusson said that despite the short time frame for 2020, the challenge is to drive efficiency through new technologies, neighboring, cross-water company treatment sites, or through cooperation with local commercial waste companies.

Bungay emphasized the need to protect farmer’s fields and simply consolidate legislation. 

Laikin added that the industry should proceed with a better business model where sludge is dealt with in terms of value maximization, rather than cost minimization. He said that opportunities to generate revenue are priorities and agreed with Goddard that the status quo will not be the winning future strategy. Laikin said that Ofwat’s regulatory changes will encourage innovation, and there will likely be growing technologies for new markets for water companies.

“Landia’s GasMix, which is easy to retrofit, is at the forefront of improving gas yields—a system we don’t make but have in our Renewables portfolio because we believe in it so much. It is therefore heartening to think that the water companies can be less risk adverse—embracing such a low maintenance yet highly effective technology that allows them to greatly improve revenue.”