Independent utility infrastructure provider Matrix Networks, has completed a project for the Greater London Authority (GLA) which will see food waste turned into renewable energy by ReFood Ltd in Dagenham, east London.

Contracted to design, install and commission a system which would bring essential gas supplies into the new recycling plant, Matrix Networks completed the connection at the end of 2017.

Their work has helped enable ReFood to convert food waste into renewable energy and nutrient-rich bio-fertiliser and, in doing so, divert up to a staggering 60,000 tonnes per year of London’s food waste away from landfill.

Matrix Networks was commissioned by the GLA’s infrastructure project manager, Turner & Townsend, to provide a gas supply connection for SARIA / ReFood Ltd, Europe’s leading processor and recycler of animal by-products and waste food. The utility specialist started by laying and connecting the initial mains gas pipes for Cadent, the distribution network operator, then in 2016 was contracted to return to the project as the Principal Contractor, responsible for the completion of the gas connection, coordinating with other contractors working on the site.

Located within the Mayor of London’s London Sustainable Industries Park, ReFood Dagenham is London’s largest anaerobic digestion (AD) and composting plant using entirely food waste. As a cutting-edge facility, regular VIP visits were scheduled during its construction – something which Matrix Networks accommodated without interfering with the programme of works taking place across the development site.

Colin Lymer, Matrix Networks Operations Manager – South, said: “This project was significant for all involved. It was our first contract for the Mayor’s property development company which is creating London’s first clean-tech business park on land acquired and retained by the Mayor. From our initial works through to completion we assigned an experienced team to the project and, as Principal Contractor in 2017, we took our responsibilities extremely seriously, respecting the investment made in this directly delivered public venture.”

ReFood turns waste food into a bio-fertiliser and into a bio-gas (methane) by using an advanced AD system. During this process large amounts of heat and biogas are generated. The biogas is exported at the right calorific content into the National Grid’s Intermediate Pressure (IP) gas network nearby, whilst the remaining liquids are turned into a bio-fertiliser for agricultural use.

Bill Harris, Turner & Townsend Associate Director, added: “Matrix Networks was recommended to us as a capable provider in the utility infrastructure sector. This was a high-profile project, and I commend the team for delivering the gas connection with the minimum of fuss and with the utmost professionalism. Any questions or issues we had were dealt with straightaway and I looking forward to working with them again, possibly on a later phase of the commercial park, in the near future.”

Matrix Networks is an industrial and commercial multi-utility independent connections provider (ICP), servicing UK developers, main contractors, and consultants.