North East & Yorkshire Premier Construction

Knostrop Energy and Recycling Facility

Written by Roma Publications

Knostrop Energy and Recycling Facility

Yorkshire Water is currently working their way through the build of an enormous £72 million investment project in Leeds. When complete, the investment at Knostrop Sewage Treatment Works will treat 30,000 tonnes of dry solids of sewage sludge annually and will process the sludge into a renewable energy source.

Once complete in 2019 the facility will have the ability to:


  • Recycle 95% of Leeds’ sewage sludge.
  • Be capable of processing up to 131 tonnes of dry sludge a day.
  • Generate 55% of its own electricity needs, which is the equivalent of providing power to 8,000 homes.
  • Reduce the Knostrop site’s carbon emission by 15%.

Speaking to Premier Construction magazine about the project, Yorkshire Water’s Project Manager Lee Laherty said: “Knostrop Waste Water Treatment Works has been treating Leeds’ sewage for around 100 years. The project introduces a new state of the art anaerobic digestion energy and recycling facility within the treatment works that will replace the existing sludge and bio solid incinerator that was constructed in 1993. This will enable more efficient and effective sludge treatment as well as giving us the ability to produce energy on site.

“By investing in this development and moving forward with it, it shows our commitment to invest in renewable energy and to reduce our impact on the environment.”

The development is part of a growing trend for energy and recycling facilities, which increasingly use anaerobic digestion to generate biogas energy form the large amounts of sludge they process.

Work started on site in May 2016 with the project currently reaching the end of its Civils Construction phase, which has been completed by Clugston Construction, working alongside main contractors Black and Veatch. The project will now move into the mechanical and electrical installation phase.

Despite the site being around 4.5 hectares, the project has come with one or two challenges for its large team.

Lee added: “A lot of the challenges are around the coordination of different trades. It is a big site but it can get congested with over 150 trade’s people on site and various contractors all working in their own areas. At the minute we are approaching half a million safe man hours on site and we have a fantastic performance in terms of health and safety, which is most important, so it is all going extremely well.”

The project is part of Yorkshire Water’s blueprint commitment to invest in renewable energy to benefit the environment and keep customer’s bills low, as well as supporting Leeds Council’s ambition for the Lower Aire Valley to become a hub for green energy and industry.

Lee concluded: “This is Yorkshire Water’s flagship project between 2015 and 2020. It is the biggest and most important job that our organisation will be delivering in this period, so it has a lot of focus on it and I am extremely proud to be a part of the team delivering it.”

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