South Cambridgeshire Council has given the go-ahead for Pelco to build a straw pelleting plant at Ely.
Construction will start shortly and the facility is due to be operational by November 2016, taking straw from next harvest on long-term supply contracts.
Pelco says the plant will have capacity to process about 150,000t of wheat and oilseed rape straw annually from farms within a 50-mile radius and will be the first of five similar projects. Other pelleting plants in Yorkshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire and Hertfordshire are likely to come on stream at the rate of one a year, the firm says.
“This is another good opportunity in renewable energy providing a valuable additional margin for hard-pressed arable farmers,” says Mike Hambly, NFU combinable crops board national chairman.
Farmers interested in supplying straw to any of the proposed Pelco plants should contact Will Mitcham of Wilson Wraight on 01284 700 727.