Chickens on litterLibrary image

A poultry litter burning plant is to be built in Herefordshire, following a successful application for planning permission.

The facility will be sited to the north of Hereford at Maund Court, Bodenham, on Andrew Edwards’ poultry farm, which consists of six broiler sheds with a capacity for 450,000 birds on a seven-week cycle.

The plans provide for a new 925sq m building, split into two parts – one for storing and loading the litter, and one for housing the boiler and the combined heat and power (CHP) plant, to provide electricity and hot water for the poultry sheds.

See also: Turning chicken litter into renewable energy

The equipment is being provided by Energy Innovations, based nearby in Kinnersley, and will comprise an Austrian Polytechnik boiler, generating steam to create electricity.

“The technology has been established on the continent for more than 10 years, though the model has been adapted for us to meet the UK regulations,” said Tom Corbett of Energy Innovations.

The boiler will be able to take more than 4,000t of litter a year and will have a maximum heat output of 1.5MW. The heat will only be used on site.

It will also generate about 120kw of electricity, some of which will be exported to the grid.

The planning approval stipulates that fuel burned on the site is sourced from Maund Court only, and also calls for landscaping, drainage and lighting plans to be submitted and approved before work commences. This is expected early in the new year.

“This technologically advanced installation will reduce the spreading of the poultry litter and the potential run off from the fields in the surrounding area, while providing the farmer with free fuel  to power the poultry unit, replacing natural gas and woodchip,” explained Ben Corbett, partner at Berrys chartered surveyors, which handled the application.

The ash produced in much-reduced quantities from the new burner will be spread on the land and will be rich in nutrients, but without the ammonia and nitrogen of poultry litter.

Once established, this will add to a growing number of litter burning facilities.

The first was established at Nigel Joice’s Uphouse Farm in Norfolk in 2012 by Ireland-based BHSL, and the same firm recently signed a 20-year deal to build another of its fluidised bed combustion plants at Cargill Meats Europe’s Shobdon and Hangar poultry complex in Herefordshire.