UK - Leading poultry supplier Cargill has signed a deal to convert poultry manure to energy on a farm in Herefordshire.
The 20-year agreement with the Irish Agri-Tech company, BHSL, will involve building a 1 mega watt plant on the farm to use some 3,500 tonnes of poultry litter a year to generate heat and electricity.
John Reed, Agriculture Director, Cargill Meats Europe, said the clean, dry heat produced provides enhanced environmental conditions that not only provide energy savings but provide performance and bird welfare benefits. He also said the enclosed manure handling system will help to improve biosecurity on and off farm.
The 1,000 square metre Approved Energy Centre and fuel store will contain the BHSL FBC (Fluidised Bed Combustion) plant, toploaders, and a Heliex electricity generation plant. A three kilometre district heating network and heaters for 13 poultry houses will also be installed.
BHSL championed the development of the new rules for on-farm combustion of poultry manure at European Commission level, in close collaboration with the UK and Irish governments, on behalf of the European poultry industry. The resulting rules reclassified poultry manure as a valuable animal by-product for on-farm combustion, which meets emissions animal health and human health standards.
BHSL technology is currently the only approved system under the new European regulations EU 592/2014 that became law in July 2014.
Sean Fitzpatrick, BHSL Commercial Director, said that the conversion of manure to energy presents a transformational opportunity to the poultry industry - not just in the UK but globally.
He stated: “We are extremely excited to be working with Cargill, and helping them to extend their leadership in sustainable food production. Cargill will be the first to leverage the proven benefits of using poultry manure on the farm to generate heat and electricity.
"This is a genuine game changer for the poultry industry, for the first time the by-product (manure) from chicken production is used as a low cost energy source to grow chicken sustainably and efficiently."ThePoultrySite News Desk