16 April 1998
Chicken dung to power up East Midlands

AGRIGEN, a subsidiary of United Energy, has devised a process which it claims is a cheaper and more efficient way of using chicken dung as a renewable source of energy.

Power stations at Flixborough, Humberside and Eye, Suffolk, already burn poultry litter in conventional boilers.

But the Cheltenham-based company says it has a new improved method of turning chicken dung into power. Next year the company will begin construction, in Northhampton , of the first biomass power station in Britain to use poultry litter in a fluidised-bed combustion system.

The new system has an advantage over conventional coal-fired power stations burning chicken dung because its specifically designed to burn biomass such as plant and animal material. It will cost Agrigen £20 million to construct.

About 120,000 tonnes of poultry litter from the local broiler industry will be burned each year there. It will come from deep-litter systems, where hens move around on matting material in sheds.

The litter will consist of poultry manure and matting material made up of either chopped straw, shredded paper or wood shavings, and small quantities of feathers and feed grain.

The new station will produce electricity for East Midlands Electricity. Ash residue from burning the poultry litter will be bagged and used for phosphate-rich fertiliser.

  • Financial Times 16/04/98 page VIII (World Energy supplement)