DS Smith Paper Mill Kemsley

DHA secured planning permission for an anaerobic digestion facility to serve the DS Smith Paper Mill in Kemsley, near Sittingbourne in Kent. 

Key facts
  • Anaerobic digestion facility to serve the DS Smith Paper Mill
  • Reducing electricity requirements
  • Addressing concerns over ecology, contamination, flooding, noise and air quality

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The Kemsley Paper Mill is one of four UK mills operated by DS Smith Paper and uses around 930,000 tonnes of waste paper to produce approximately 850,000 tonnes of finished product per year. The paper production process creates waste water which is currently cleaned and treated through an aerobic process before being discharged.

The anaerobic digester will complete the cleaning and treatment process using micro-organisms working in the absence of oxygen. The process will create a number of benefits over the existing system; it will create less by-product, reducing the amount of vehicle movements required to remove this from the site; it will require half the electricity of the current process; and it will create biogas, which the facility will use to generate electricity for use in the paper mill or for export to the national grid.

DHA Planning prepared, submitted and managed the planning application for the scheme, which was permitted by Kent County Council under delegated powers.

An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was required given the development proposed and sensitive nature of the site. DHA Environment prepared a Scoping Request to identify those issues which would need to be assessed. They then managed the preparation of the Environmental Statement, including liaising with technical consultants to address complex issues of ecology, contamination, flood risk, noise and air quality. DHA Environment collated and submitted the final Environmental Statement and produced the accompanying Non-Technical Summary.

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