Poultry business signs agreement with agri-tech company


Cargill’s European poultry business has signed a 20-year agreement with the Irish Agri-Tech company, BHSL, to convert poultry manure to energy with BHSL’s innovative technology on its Shobdon and Hangar poultry farm in Herefordshire, UK.

BHSL, the Limerick-based Agri-Tech company, will build a 1MW plant on the farm to use some 3,500 tonnes of poultry litter a year to generate heat and electricity. This initiative demonstrates Cargill’s continued industry leadership through innovation and will set new standards in poultry production for the next decade.

The 1,000m Approved Energy Centre and fuel store will contain the BHSL FBC (Fluidised Bed Combustion) plant, toploaders, and a Heliex electricity generation plant. A 3km district heating network and heaters for 13 poultry houses will also be installed.

BHSL will fund complete solutions in the UK for the poultry industry, whereby the company will design, build, finance, operate and maintain Manure-to-Energy facilities on independent growers’ or poultry integrator farms.
The heat and electricity generated on the Shobdon and Hangar poultry farm qualifies for the UK Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) and Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs).

The commissioning and operation of the new BHSL energy centre in Herefordshire will be approved and regulated by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). 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.

John Reed, agriculture director, Cargill Meats Europe, said the company had selected BHSL for a number of reasons: “The BHSL system is an innovative energy solution, which will allow us to operate our own sustainable on-farm energy supply,” he commented. “Litter from the farms will provide a consistent, dry and renewable fuel source and the enclosed manure handling system will help to improve biosecurity on and off farm.

The clean, dry heat provides enhanced environmental conditions that not only provide energy savings but provide performance and bird welfare benefits,” added Reed. “The system also carries significant environmental benefits, which includes low carbon production, reduced ammonia emissions and ground water protection.

“Sustainability is at the forefront of our stakeholder and customer expectations and we believe this project provides an opportunity to demonstrate good agricultural practice in bird performance and responsible litter disposal.”

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