It’s been just over a year since Kent residents embarked on a pioneering new scheme to recycle used cooking oil, and the results are already being put to good use with 18,000 litres powering the world’s busiest passenger port.
The new initiative, launched at the Port of Dover in partnership with green energy company Living Power, will provide a proportion of the port’s heat and power over the next five years through a dedicated generator that runs on a fuel created from used cooking oil.
Ian Collins, Managing Director for Living Power, said: “The new scheme at the Port of Dover is among the first of its kind in the country, as we’re launching a commercial scheme that will be part fuelled by oil recycled by people in Kent.Over the last 12 months, Kent has recycled the most used cooking oil of all the counties working with Living Power in the UK, setting a great example for the rest of the country in supporting alternative sources of energy.”
The used cooking oil is collected from Kent County Council’s Household Waste Recycling Centres across the UK by Living Power, part of AIM listed REG Bio-Power, and undergoes a unique refinement process creating a biofuel called LF100.The biofuel is then used to power generators that produce heat and electricity.To place this in context, just one litre of used cooking oil provides enough energy to make 240 cups of tea, with 1,000 litres enough to power the average family home for an entire year.
Jack Goodhew, general manager for technical service delivery at the Port of Dover, said: “Our pilot partnership with Living Power will allow us to gain invaluable experience in generating sustainable electricity and heat on-site. We want to lead the way in environmental practice within our industry and the new generator, through using an innovative source of renewable energy, will allow us to do this and subsequently reduce our carbon footprint. Our partnership with Living Power shows our ongoing commitment to achieving this aim.”
David Brazier, deputy cabinet member for Environment, Highways and Waste at Kent County Council, said: “We are delighted to be part of this innovative recycling project.The scheme helps to avoid unwanted cooking oil blocking the sewerage system when it’s disposed of down the sink.Its great residents can recycle more at their Household Waste Recycling Centre and see their efforts being put to good use locally. Kent County Council has also contributed leftover cooking oil from schools and its own buildings for this scheme.”
Ian added: “While used cooking oil won’t solve our energy problems on its own, it will certainly go a long way towards fulfilling our sustainable remit.Along with other forms of alternative power generation, used cooking oil makes a formidable contribution.”
Kent residents can take their used cooking oil to 17 of Kent County Council’s Household Waste Recycling Centres. To find your nearest centre, visit www.kent.gov.u":www.kent.gov.uk .For more information on the used cooking oil recycling process, visit www.livingfuels.co.uk .