Hamilton and McIlveen announce world leading £23million Anaerobic Digestion plant near Ballymena

Date published: 20 June 2016

The Economy and Agriculture Ministers have announced that an innovative £23million Anaerobic Digestion plant is to be built at Tully Quarry near Ballymena.

Hamilton and McIlveen announce world leading £23million Anaerobic Digestion plant near Ballymena
Hamilton and McIlveen announce world leading £23million Anaerobic Digestion plant near Ballymena

The Tully Centralised Anaerobic Digestion Plant being led by Stream BioEnergy Ltd. and built by Xergi and local firm BSG Ltd will use a new innovative nitrogen stripping technology to allow the plant to use up to 100% poultry litter and will be one of the first Anaerobic Digestion plants in the world able to do so. The plant will process 40,000 tonnes of NI poultry litter each year to produce biogas, generate 3MW of renewable electricity and produce a high quality organic fertiliser.

The total cost of the project is £23.3million of which Invest Northern Ireland is providing a repayable £7.4million loan at a commercial based interest rate, and £1.3million equity under the Sustainable Utilisation of Poultry Litter (SUPL) Scheme. The balance of project funding has been provided by a Foresight-managed fund Recycling and Waste LP, in which the UK Green Investment Bank is a cornerstone investor, as well as Xergi Limited. 

Economy Minister Simon Hamilton said: “This project has been developed as a result of support under the SUPL SBRI Project and the SUPL Loan Scheme. It is an outstanding example of public sector and private investors coming together to support a new technology for sustainable agriculture and to grow our economy.  In addition to helping the local poultry sector to grow, the plant will create up to 100 jobs during the construction phase with a further 11 new jobs available when the plant becomes operational in 2017.”

Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Minister Michelle McIlveen said, “This project has seen close collaboration between technology companies, government and funding bodies, including the Green Investment Bank. It is a testament to our commitment to deliver a sustainable future for our agriculture sector. Projects such as this will play an important role in helping the poultry sector to address an environmental challenge.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. The Poultry Meat sector employs approximately 6,000 people in NI and is a significant contributor to the local economy.  However, the poultry litter produced (currently some 270kt per annum and rising) presents a significant environmental challenge.
  2. In 2012, DETI and DARD jointly launched a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition to address the Sustainable Use of Poultry Litter (SUPL).  The SBRI funded nine projects for proof of concept/feasibility stage work. The competition successfully encouraged the technical development of innovative solutions to utilise poultry litter and also provided evidence of the commercial viability of proposed solutions.
  3. The SBRI competition has been followed by two calls under the SUPL Loan Scheme which offers support of loans up to 40% of capital costs for the building and operation of two or more large commercially viable demonstrator plants.
  4. The Tully Centralised Anaerobic Digestion Plant, at Tully Quarry, near Ballymena, has received planning permission and has secured the requisite permits to operate. Work will commence on construction imminently and it is intended that the plant will be operational in 2017.
  5. The first project in Ballybofey, Co Donegal reached was announced in March 2016. As well as helping the poultry sector to grow it will produce biogas which will power the trucks transporting the poultry litter and generate nearly 4MW of renewable electricity for manufacturing firms Bombardier and Montupet in Belfast, Newtownards, Newtownabbey and Dunmurry.
  6. For media enquiries, please contact Department for the Economy Press Office on 028 9052 9604. Outside office hours, please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.

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