Aardvark now assesses AD plants nationwide!

Does anyone else find this unbelievable?

Aardvark Certification Limited (ACL), the sister company of Aardvark EM Ltd, (the consultants for Crouchland Biogas for the past 5 years), are running the new national 'AD Certification Scheme' which assesses the all-round safety, environmental and operational performance of anaerobic digestion (AD) plants.

Extraordinary and rather worrying, that a company (Mark Clayton was an expert witness for Crouchland Biogas in the ten day Planning Inquiry) that never saw any safety, environmental or operational problems at Crouchland Biogas is now in charge of checking AD plants nationally.




The plans of Provilege Project Finance and SGN?

What exactly are PRIVILEGE PROJECT FINANCE and SGN planning for the Crouchland Biogas site?

It is now 2 months since the planning inspector dismissed the Crouchland Biogas appeals. As we now know the business soon went into administration and is currently being run by the administrators, who we are told are looking to sell the business as a going concern. We understand that the AD is not currently in use and that importation of feedstock has ceased, as required by the Inspector.

BUT we remain very wary - all the unlawful equipment is still sitting there, we have not seen one piece move off site in the past 2 months. It seems that what were touted as “mobile pieces of equipment on metal skids merely requiring to be disconnected with bolts, or easily-moved shipping containers,” (when they wanted to play it down with the planners), have suddenly become immovable behemoths requiring months of decommissioning.

One such piece of equipment is the unlawful Purac plant supplied and owned by SGN (the national gas company). It is predominantly formed of shipping containers which they managed to transport across from Sweden and install in a matter of weeks, so why are they finding it so hard to move it now? SGN, despite our protests continually told us they would wait for the due planning process to play out – well it has SGN - and your equipment is unlawful. They were given 18 months to remove unlawful equipment. Are you telling us that a national gas company responsible for the country’s pipeline infrastructure doesn’t have the capability to remove it – any cynics out there?

Is there another plan being concocted to help soothe PRIVILEGE PROJECT FINANCE'S whopping £37 million losses? It’s hard to see how anyone would want to buy this ‘on-farm’ AD as a going concern as the Inspector has clearly limited its potential. The Inspector’s decision proved beyond doubt that the site location is completely unsuitable for anything requiring HGVs importing & exporting - and it has such a toxic history, so why don’t Privilege just get it liquidated and be done with it?

The peace and quiet that has resulted from the cessation of the HGVs and machinery noise at all hours, is quite remarkable. Many residents have commented on how it has been transformational – but of course that is what it was always like - before Crouchland Biogas decided to expand without permission.

As a community we will need to be super vigilant that no other inappropriate use rises from the ashes and we must hold the planners to account to ensure this – and we will.

Keep your banners up!

Smell a Rat.png

Another company goes into administration - 8th December 2017


That makes 4 companies of which Leon Mekitarian is a director - that have gone into administration in the past few months;

Crouchland Biogas Ltd, ...
Farm Fuels Ltd,
Biomethane (Castle Eaton) Ltd,
and Crouchland Farms Ltd.

One does wonder how many employees he has had to advise this year, '(Sorry?) we can't pay your wages this month'

Maybe the 5 new companies he has formed this year will do better?
Lower Heath Biogas Ltd
Lower Drayton Biogas Ltd
Biogas Support Services Ltd (maybe counselling support?)
AD Organics Ltd.
Mekitarian Ltd - (last month, with address at Hardnips Barn)

On top of these new companies, he is still the sole director of;
Cowpow Ltd
Green Bubbles CO2 Ltd

and also shares a directorship with Gregory James Dunne (resident of Chile) of 'Biogas Renewable Energy Ltd'

Perhaps William Luttman-Johnson got into bed with the wrong person when he asked Leon Mekitarian to become a director of his farm at Crouchland?

Among wealth advisors, there is a saying: 'The first generation makes it, the second generation spends it, and the third generation blows it.' At Crouchland Farm it seems that the second generation has been omitted, whilst the third phase has been ably assisted by Leon Mekitarian, who can now add this to his list of failures.


Gas Bus Alliance

In March 2016 PORE received a letter stating “The Gas Alliance Group (including Gas Bus Alliance) no longer take any Biomethane from Crouchland Farms Ltd or Crouchland Biogas Ltd” and legal action is threatened should anyone “communicate any information to any Bodies or Persons which is contrary to this statement”. The signatory was Tony Griffiths, former General Manager - MAN UK bus operations.

A letter was also received stating that there was no commercial or other relationship with Crouchland.

It is interesting to therefore see that one of the current creditors of Crouchland Biogas is in fact GAS BUS ALLIANCE (to the tune of £18,480) with the last transaction on the 1st August 2017!

Past Crouchland Biogas Director, BARRY EVANS (who resigned on 29th March 2016) is a current Gas Bus Alliance Director.

Past Crouchland Biogas 'Financial Director Designate' WILLIAM CARR (resigned October 2016) is the current Chief Financial Officer of Gas Bus Alliance.


What happens to lagoon 3?

What happens to the lagoon?

Exactly how, and by whom - will this lagoon, full of digestate, be returned to its former state of a pasture field?

The unlawful equipment will hopefully just be dismantled and taken away, but the lagoon will be more tricky. Whose responsibility is it? What about the gas under the cover?

Unimaginable and extraordinary losses at Crouchland Biogas Ltd


The deficit is so mind-numbingly huge for this ‘unlawful’ operation. Certainly the most obvious question is “How was this allowed to happen?” and for this insolvent and unlawful company to hold people and planet to ransom for so long?

Clearly the shareholders (pages 37-40 ) have lost everything and presumably their shareholder loans too.

Privilege Loans (£37 million) have jointly and severally been guaranteed by Leon Mekitarian and William Luttman-Johnson. It is beyond belief that William Luttman-Johnson would have risked losing everything by signing these guarantees.

The administrator seems to say that the accounts are incomplete, inter-company balances don’t reconcile and basically the whole situation has been out of control for months, with the company existing hand to mouth.


Plaistow resident demands answers from CEO John Morea, at SGN

PORE has been given this copy of a letter from a local resident - sent to Mr John Morea, Chief Executive Officer of SGN.

SGN own and operate the substantial gas conditioning plant at Crouchland Biogas and have a commercial contract with Crouchland Biogas Ltd to carry out the conditioning of the gas produced. SGN (John Morea) signed a 20 year partnership with Crouchland Biogas Ltd in 2013 without planning consent, or even a planning application in place.

Other residents may also feel inclined to write to Mr Morea at SGN or/and Mr Alistair Phillips-Davies at SEE PLC, Inveralmond House, 200 Dunkeld Road, Perth, PH1 3AQ.

They may also want to question why a company entrusted with the operation of a highly complex infrastructure network would invest £4.5 million in a basket case of a company now with debts of £37 million - and who in the last year have apparently made a loss of £11 million on a £2.6 million turnover!

Exactly where the millions of pounds have gone is the subject of much speculation and we would welcome Mr Morea's thoughts and comments.

11th October 2017

SGN Chief Executives Office
St Lawrence House
Station Approach
Surrey RH6 9HJ
Fao: Mr John Morea

Dear Mr Morea,


With reference to your letter dated 29th August 2017, you will now be aware that what you describe as the democratic planning process has now been concluded and the Planning Inspectorate have published a decision dismissing all of Crouchland's appeals and upholding the enforcement notices.

Now this last vestige of your defence for SGN's continued support of this morally and commercially bankrupt company has disappeared, I trust you will confirm that SGN will dissolve what remains of your partnership and remove the unlawful equipment.
Noting that SGN have apparently invested £4.57 million into a facility that was constructed without planning permission would suggest wrong doing that is more than simply commercial incompetence. I can but hope a full detailed forensic investigation will be undertaken into SGN's involvement and the culpable individuals.

Over the past years whilst this plant has been operating at a commercial level I, and many others, have suffered from the loss of our right to the peaceful enjoyment of our property. It is SGN's continued support that has enabled the plant to operate at such a level. The Parish Council and local community as a whole are deserving, and expect, recompense from SGN for the years of disturbance and expense of fighting this SGN-supported unlawful operation.

Yours sincerely

Can you help - and press reports........

  1. IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION OR CONCERNS REGARDING THE WAY IN WHICH THE CROUCHLAND BIOGAS BUSINESS HAS BEEN CONDUCTED, or have information regarding potential recoveries for the state, please contact the Administrators as soon as possible. Do contact us (by private message or email help@pore.org.uk) if you would prefer, or if you need the administrators' contact details. Remember that around £40 million is owed to the main creditor - how has this happened and who is responsible?

  2. The administrators for Crouchland Biogas are required to establish what assets the company owns and to consider the way in which the Company’s business has been conducted, in order that under the provisions of the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986, a report can be issued to the Secretary of State for Business and Industrial Strategy on the conduct of the Directors.

  3. For your information the current Directors are;
    Leon Mekitarian,
    Ewen Angus Cameron,
    William Luttman-Johnson
    Philip Gerrard,
    and Andrew Vernau.

    Directors who resigned recently are;
    Barry Evans
    and Graham Woolfman.

    Part of the Administrators schedule of work is to ‘Consider money laundering regulations and to perform immediate checks'.

    Please contact the administrators if you have any information that you think may be helpful.


    Farmers Weekly; https://www.fwi.co.uk/…/west-sussex-biogas-business-loses-p…

    Midhurst and Petworth Observer...

    Landmark Chambers

    39 Essex Chambers

    Josef Ransley