A Yorkshire pig company is set to unveil a new 500kW biogas plant later this month in a bid to build more predictability into the business against a backdrop of fluctuating pig prices.
Melrose Pigs and sister company Northern Crop Driers are working together to provide pig slurry from finisher pigs and maize and grass silage for the new EnviTec biogas plant.
"We're looking at payback on the investment within five years. Drying grass to produce feed for horses is pretty energy-intensive so we'll be using some of the electricity for that, while some of it will go to the grid," said Pam Dear, a director at Melrose Pigs.
"The Feed-in Tariffs will help with revenues, and because they're set for the long-term it helps with business planning. Pork prices have always fluctuated, so the more predictability we can build in the easier it is to make sensible investment decisions."
She said the biogas plant would remove the need to use the lagoon for slurry storage and act as a means of turning slurry into a product with more readily-available nutrients for uptake by crops.
"It helps with odours and at the end of the process you end up with a product that is better than the one that went in. The beauty is that biogas production will help both our businesses grow," she added.
The initial plans for the plant are for electricity production, but the company hopes to use some of the heat generated in the future to aid with crop drying and to take advantage of the renewable heat incentive.
Gemma Mackenzie on G+
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