Severn Trent welcomes visitors from the Far East to find out more about its East Birmingham food waste digestion plant 

Wednesday 18th April

Severn Trent has hosted a delegation from Taiwan at its cutting-edge East Birmingham food waste digestion plant at Coleshill. 

The company welcomed six representatives from the delegation to see the state-of-the-art plant which can turn 48,500 tonnes of food waste into enough green electricity to power 5,000 homes every year.  

Neil Liddell-Young, from Severn Trent, explains: “We were delighted to welcome the delegation from Taiwan who were really interested to find out more about the advances we are making in food waste digestion here in the West Midlands.

“It was fascinating to share experiences and expertise of renewable energy and the group were delighted to have the opportunity to see how we’re using cutting-edge technology to produce renewable energy from food waste that would otherwise go to landfill.” 

For each tonne of food waste processed by the plant rather than landfilled, 500 kg of CO2eq emissions are avoided. 

The visitors were carrying out research as part of planning for the Shalun Green Energy City project in Taiwan. They were amazed by just how much energy could be produced in such a relatively small process plant.

Severn Trent, which serves eight million people across the Midlands and mid-Wales, has invested heavily in renewable energy in recent years and is now developing its expertise in anaerobic digestion to generate more clean power than ever before.

The company currently has two food waste digestion plants in operation with the second West Birmingham plant, near Stourbridge and a third under construction in Spondon, Derby.

These plants take food that can’t be eaten or used for any other purpose from local businesses and waste management companies and put it into huge vats that effectively digest it, like in your stomach, to produce biogas and nutrient rich biofertiliser. The biogas generated can be used to produce electricity or go through an upgrading process to produce biomethane for injection into the national grid as a source of renewable heat for local homes and businesses.

Although not common at the moment, the biomethane can also be used to power CNG vehicles to deliver a green transport solution.

For more information about Severn Trent’s approach to renewable energy visit