£23.3m plant to open next year

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A £23 million anaerobic digestion plant aimed at tackling the increasingly urgent issue of poultry waste disposal has been announced by Economy and Agriculture Ministers Simon Hamilton and Michelle McIlveen.

The project to build the new plant, at Tully Quarry near Ballymena, is being led by Stream BioEnergy and built by Xergi and local firm BSG Ltd.

It will use a new innovative nitrogen stripping technology to allow the plant to use up to 100% poultry litter and will be one of the first anaerobic digestion plants in the world able to do so. The plant will process 40,000 tonnes of NI poultry litter each year to produce biogas, generate 3MW of renewable electricity and produce a high quality organic fertiliser.

Economy Minister Simon Hamilton said: “It is an outstanding example of public sector and private investors coming together to support a new technology for sustainable agriculture and to grow our economy,” said Mr Hamilton.

“In addition to helping the local poultry sector to grow, the plant will create up to 100 jobs during the construction phase with a further 11 new jobs available when it becomes operational in 2017.”

DAERA Minister Michelle McIlveen said: “This project has seen close collaboration between technology companies, government and funding bodies, including the Green Investment Bank.

“It is a testament to our commitment to deliver a sustainable future for our agriculture sector.

“Projects such as this will play an important role in helping the poultry sector to address an environmental challenge.”

David Gibson, Moy Park Director of Agriculture said: “We very much welcome this innovative development which will be a world leading example in utilising poultry litter to produce renewable energy. This project is the result of true joined-up thinking and cooperation between a range of stakeholders across the supply chain, producing a sustainable solution to support the growth of the poultry sector.”