UK waste management group Shanks has joined forces with Scotland’s Energen Biogas in a £8m deal to build a renewable energy power plant.

The Plant in Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire is expected to process 60,000 tons of organic waste every year, generating up to 3MWh of renewable power in addition to fertiliser for use on agricultural land.

The facility will use Shanks’ Orgaworld Anaerobic Digestion (AD) technology to process various organic materials including food processing waste, household and commercial kitchen waste and supermarket waste.

Orgaworld technology, which is currently in operation in Canada and the Netherlands, deploys micro-organisms in an oxygen-free environment to convert organic waste into biogas, which is used to produce green power.

This process also generates compost, which is utilised by the agricultural sector.

Anaerobic digestion involves the conversion of animal and plant waste material using micro-organisms contained within sealed tanks.

Shanks chief executive Tom Drury said the facility will offer organic waste producers an economical and sustainable alternative to landfill.

The plant is part of a Scottish Government initiative to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill. The project will also encourage local authorities to increase recycling rates.

The facility is scheduled to become operational in mid-2010.