Plan Approved for Poultry Biomass Plant

NORTHERN IRELAND, UK - Plans have been approved for a plant for the disposal of poultry waste in County Antrim.
calendar icon 2 September 2010
clock icon 3 minute read

Northern Ireland's Environment Minister, Edwin Poots, has approved plans for a biomass power plant at Glenavy, County Antrim, which will incinerate poultry bedding and meat and bone meal.

According to Inside Ireland, Minister Poots says the move will create 300-400 construction jobs in the region and approximately 30 permanent jobs in the operation of the facility.

The power plant will be fuelled by poultry bedding and meat and bone meal, producing approximately 30MW of electricity as an output of the incineration process.

The Department of Environment (DOE) said the poultry industry generates an income of more than £2 million to Belfast Port and the main poultry producers.

It imports 680,000 tonnes of feed annually, which generates significant haulage work to enable distribution across the region, the Department added.

A DOE-appointed Expert Group on Alternative Uses of Manure technical report said that combustion is the only technology for processing poultry litter that is currently proven on a commercial scale and that significantly reduces the volume of material to be disposed off.

The Department has received considerable number of complaints from the local residents regarding the proposal. Pressure group CALNI (Communities Against the Lough Neagh Incinerator) has objected to the incinerator due to its visual impact on 'an area of high scenic value'.

They also claim that the incinerator is not in the best interests of NI poultry farmers and have raised concerns about possible dioxins emissions.

Minister Poots said he was "fully aware of both the opposition and support for the power plant, and that I have a judgement to make between the benefits of the proposal to the poultry industry and the Northern Ireland economy and the potential adverse impacts on residential amenity and the landscape setting.

"Having given the proposal careful consideration, including visiting the site and viewing it from Lough Neagh, I am satisfied that on balance it should be approved," he told Inside Ireland.

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