Cargill signs 20-year poultry litter burning deal with BHSL

Poultry integrator Cargill Meats Europe has signed a 20-year deal with Irish green-energy company BHSL to install and run a major new poultry litter burning plant at its Shobdon and Hangar poultry farm complex in Herefordshire.

The 1MW unit will be the second such facility in the UK, following the establishment of a similar unit at Nigel Joice’s Uphouse Farm in Norfolk in 2012.

Limerick-based BHSL will build the plant on the farm complex in order to use some 3,500 tonnes of poultry litter a year to generate heat and electricity.

See also: Turning chicken litter into renewable energy

The 1,000sq m energy centre and fuel store will contain the BHSL Fluidised Bed Combustion plant, toploaders and a Heliex electricity generation plant. A 3km district heating network and heaters for 13 poultry houses will also be installed.

The heat generated on the Shobdon and Hangar poultry farm qualifies for Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) payments, while the electricity will benefit from Renewable Obligation Certificate (ROC) payments.

Litter burning has been allowed only since EU rules were changed, reclassifying poultry manure as an animal by-product for on-farm combustion, rather than a waste.

John Reed, agriculture director for Cargill Meats Europe, said using litter on farm would help improve biosecurity, while bird performance would benefit from a better environment.

The company is projecting a 40% saving in fuel costs for the site over 20 years. It has applied for planning permission.