SJS Renewables Ltd Review

Posted on: 1 May 2012 | Filed under: 

SJS-Renewables-imageSJS Renewables offers anaerobic digestion plant design, procurement and construction services to deliver a full turnkey project, or to design and supply individual components in the AD cycle. On farm AD is the term they use on their web site, and it appears that they therefore work mostly in the agricultural sector.

Their principals are Steve Price, Julian Thorpe and Saravanan Subramanian which comprises a team which they describe as being professionals with many years of field experience, patents and publications behind them, and excellent ties with environmental and research organisations.

Their unique business proposition is stated as follows:

“We believe the NVZ slurry storage regulations should be considered as an opportunity to invest in Anaerobic Digestion instead of just a storage facility. Farmers can benefit financially both by revenue generation and cost savings, while meeting the regulations.”

They have a web page in which they provide a comparison of NVZ Slurry Storage versus providing an AD plant to provide the same function. In this section, they present a preliminary cost benefit analysis for both options, which shows figures for payback for the NVZ slurry storage facility in 5.5 to 13 years, against an equivalent payback period of about 4 years for an anaerobic digestion plant.

They correctly point out that planning permission and environmental permitting are not required for most small scale AD plants, recognising in particular the recent UK government relaxation on planning permission requirements for AD Plants.

Although both payback periods are based upon the same annual volume of farm slurry it is not clear that both sets of figures take into account the utilisation of existing farm slurry storage. The AD Plant option appears to be based upon an assumption that existing slurry storage facilities can be converted into an AD plant, whereas if that were the case surely the same benefit should be credited to the traditional slurry storage option.

It is also not clear that the comparative pricing given adequately includes the cost of additional short-term storage during storms and wet weather periods, when the Anaerobic Digestion Plant option would need additional capacity of storage.

Nevertheless, the concept of installing a biogas plant in this way, with even just a large proportion of the AD Plant investment justified for its NVZ slurry storage regulations compliance benefits, is undoubtedly good one. With energy and fertiliser costs continually rising at rates above inflation, many farms are already investing in anaerobic digestion plants with less economic justification than this, and finding that they have a real asset which is rising in value over the years.

SJS Renewables state that their proposition to livestock farmers is to help them:

  • Install AD solutions to meet NVZ slurry storage requirements
  • Store and treat slurry at the same time
  • Generate return on investment
  • Make their clients farms more sustainable.

In general, this is no doubt in the broadest sense what all Anearobic Digestion EPC contractors seek to do for their clients, however, the close alignment of their offering to compliance with UK NVZ slurry storage regulations appears to be a new selling point not expressly offered currently by the larger and more established AD plant EPC contractors.
SJS Renewables offers a number of case studies of their previous projects on their website which include:

  • AD plant to treat 15 to 20m³ of tomato waste
  • A novel plug flow AD plant using their proprietary technology to treat up to 7m³ of farm waste every day
  • An AD plant to treat 24 tonnes of dairy farm waste to produce 360 units of electricity every day
  • A small scale AD plant to treat organic spruce tree waste and convert into biogas and valuable digestate
  • A small scale AD plant to Little Wildwood Farm to treat macerated kitchen waste and convert into biogas for electricity generation.

They are UK based and their registered office is in Orton, near Penrith, Cumbria. They also have regional offices in Cheshire and Hampshire.

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