Green energy company Chesterfield BioGas is creating jobs and predicting a boom in business after securing orders worth £4.6 million for its pioneering technology.
The firm, part of the Meadowhall-based Pressure Technologies Group, has clinched two contracts for its highest volume Totara biogas upgraders.
The upgraders are essential pieces of equipment for anyone who wants to generate methane from organic material that can range from sewage to food waste.
In the past, the orders Chesterfield BioGas has received have mainly been for smaller, demonstration plants to prove the concept.
Managing director Stephen McCulloch said: “These orders mark a step change in the market for biogas upgrading, which is moving from small scale, proof of concept projects to large scale plants which deliver commercial returns to our customers.”
Chesterfield BioGas’s success also drew praise from Pressure Technologies chief John Hayward.
“I am very pleased for the team at Chesterfield BioGas,” said Mr Hayward.
“Their dedication and hard work over the last five years is finally reaping rewards. These order wins, together with a very promising pipeline of potential follow on orders, give grounds for considerable optimism for the biomethane to Grid market in the UK and the outlook for Chesterfield BioGas.”
Stockbrokers Charles Stanley agree and have upped their target price for Pressure Technologies’ Alternative Investment Market quoted shares from 220p to 305p as a result.
The success has come three years after Chesterfield BioGas won a pioneering £600,000 contract from British Gas’s parent group, Centrica, to supply a cleaning plant to process gases from a sewage works at Didcot so that they could be fed directly into the gas mains and used by domestic and commercial customers.
Biogas can be produced by using microbes to process organic waste in the absence of oxygen – a process called anaerobic digestion.
About two fifths of the gas produced is made up of impurities which have to be removed and that is where Chesterfield BioGas’s upgraders come in, producing gas that is sufficiently pure to be directly injected into the gas mains.
The company’s new-generation upgrader, using technology developed by New Zealand-based Greenlane Biogas, uses no heat or chemicals, just water, much of which can be re-cycled.
Stephen McCulloch says that use of the technology has been held back by the slow process of gaining approval from regulators and difficulties potential clients faced in securing finance.
However, that has now changed and he is predicting significant growth.
“We have got a massive pipeline of projects coming through and we are expecting the business to boom now,” said Mr McCulloch.
“We are currently recruiting staff and there will be more job opportunities in Sheffield in the future.”