AN £8M plant which will convert food waste into electricity will create eight new jobs.

The Emerald Biogas anaerobic digestion (AD) facility, will open in May on Newton Aycliffe Industrial Estate, County Durham, becoming the first of its type in the North-East.

Work is now being carried out on installing process equipment at the site, which will process 50,000 tonnes of food waste from across the region every year into heat and power.

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The company will recruit four members of staff to manage the plant's daily operation and a further four workers later in the year to increase production.

The plant will remove all plastic, glass and metal, pasteurising the waste to meet stringent regulations, before transferring it to large digestion tanks.

Bosses expect the plant will produce 1.4MW, enough to power nearly 2,000 homes, and hope the facility will be fully operational by July.

Antony Warren, Emerald Biogas director, said: “We are looking to employ people to manage the delivery of the waste and as the plant reaches optimal capacity in the summer, we expect to bolster again with administrative staff and HGV drivers.”