Chicken waste could fuel Northern Ireland

A new joint venture in Northern Ireland will see chicken litter and bone meal turned into power, helping the country meet its renewable energy obligations.

Moy Park and O’Kane’s Poultry have teamed up with Glenfarm Holdings and Rose Energy to build a £100 million power station in County Antrim that will use poultry litter as the energy source.

“What we’re talking about is a plant that will use agricultural by-products that will generate 30 megawatts of electricity,” Rose Energy’s Mike Alcorn told the BBC.

“Thirty megawatts, to put it in context, is about the amount of power needed for a town like Larne. It will obviously be treated as green electricity, because the fuel streams for it come from renewable sources.”

Despite the environmental benefits of the scheme, which the firms hope will be partly funded by the taxpayer, it is not without its critics.

Thomas Burns of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) argued that the plant would be in the wrong location.

“This is a very rural area, a very narrow road, it’s going to be a tremendous amount of heavy vehicle traffic on this road and we would much prefer to see this in a larger industrial estate,” he said.

There are also concerns that existing odour problems in the area could get worse.

Ben Meggeson

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