A Dublin-based company is starting construction of a €30m plant which will convert chicken waste into biogas.
Stream BioEnergy is constructing the plant at Ballymena, Co Antrim, which will be able to convert 40,000 tonnes of chicken waste per annum.
The plant design combines conventional and proven anaerobic digestion technology with a new nitrogen-stripping system meaning this will be the first plant of its type in the world to run exclusively on chicken litter, the safe disposal of which is proving to be a significant challenge for the poultry sector in Ireland.
The traditional practice of spreading the untreated chicken litter on land is resulting in nutrients washing out from the fields into watercourses and causing an adverse impact on the environment.
The Ballymena plant will help improve this situation by providing a more sustainable way of managing the nutrients.
The process will create 3 megawatts of low-carbon green electricity — which will be enough to power 4,000 homes.
The plant will become operational by the end of 2017, with approximately 100 jobs created during the construction phase.
Invest Northern Ireland and the UK’s Foresight Group are co-financing the bulk of the investment in the project, thus creating a strong example of public sector and private investors collaborating to support the development of urgently needed infrastructure for sustainable agriculture and economic growth.
Stream BioEnergy already has planning permission to build large scale anaerobic digestion plants for food waste in Dublin and Little Island, Cork.
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