A Doncaster firm has announced a massive expansion programme which should safeguard hundreds of jobs.
Bentley-based PDM, the UK’s largest food waste recycler, is also boosting its capacity to turn food leftovers into energy.
PDM, better known in Doncaster as Prosper De Mulder, has announced it is planning to spend more than £90 million on its operations in the UK before the end of 2014.
That includes £18 million on its petfood processing facilities in Doncaster, Widnes and Nottingham.
It will create about 30 new jobs in the next year and safeguard the jobs of the 260 employees who already work at the Doncaster factory.
Another £44 million is being invested in brand new anaerobic digestion facilities in Widnes and Dagenham for its ReFood food waste business.
PDM opened its first ReFood plant as part of the Ings Road operation in September 2011.
The new £20 million plant at Widnes, due for completion at the end of the year, will have 50 per cent more capacity, with three combined heat and power engines to convert the gas produced during the production process into renewable electricity.
Capable of handling 90,000 tonnes of commercial and domestic food waste, Widnes will generate enough energy for approximately 8,000 homes, as well as heat which will be used by its rendering operation on site and by adjacent businesses.
The organic fertiliser produced will be used by farmers in the local area to grow new crops.
In addition to renewable energy the Dagenham plant, which is due to be constructed later this year, will produce a renewable gas called biomethane for export to the Gas Grid or for commercial vehicles and buses.
The use of biomethane in road vehicles will help meet increasing demand for greener transport fuels by supermarkets and Transport for London as it has a lower nitrous oxide content than diesel.
The company is also spending £29 million on operations in Nuneaton and Widnes.
Andy Smith, chief executive officer at PDM, said: “This is a significant investment in new and existing facilities in the UK that will ensure we remain at the forefront of food waste and animal by product processing.
“As part of Saria Bio-Industries, PDM is committed to using the most advanced technological solutions to ensure we optimise the resource value and quality of food by-products and waste, through state-of-the-art processing techniques and world class quality standards.
“This investment will future-proof our business and give customers the reassurance that they are dealing with the best in the industry, while allowing us to expand significantly our operations in the UK.”