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Conditional approval for Bioenergy Devco’s poultry AD project

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Bioenergy Devco has secured conditional approval from Sussex County Council in Delaware to build one of the state’s first anaerobic digesters.

According to an article by the Delaware Business Times, Devco, based in Maryland, bought the former Perdue Farms AgriRecycle facility and continues to compost 30,000 tons of poultry waste from the site. Now, the company plans to extract biogas from the waste.

If approved, the $45 million digester should be in full operation by early 2022. During construction, between 40 and 45 jobs will be created. Once construction is complete, the company expects there will be 30 employees for the digester and 11 employees for the compost facility.

“We are very pleased with the decision made by the Sussex County Council regarding our application for conditional use,” said Peter Ettinger, Bioenergy Devco’s chief development officer.

“The digester will provide a much-needed alternative to organic material management in the area. Not only will the facility reduce land application and poultry organics from going into landfill, but it will also turn these organics into renewable natural gas (RNG) and digestate – an organic, virtually odourless soil amendment.”

The company is now awaiting approval from the Delaware Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) to allow it to process up to 220,000 tons of waste leftover from the chicken slaughtering process.

When Bioenergy Devco bought the Perdue facility, it also agreed to take over its composting operation for 20 years. If DNREC approves the digester, it will allow the company to reduce its composting time from five months to three months. Compost is later sold as fertiliser to local clients.