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Irish agri-tech firm generates €13m in UK sales from its manure-to-energy units

Irish agri-tech business BHSL has agreed to sell eight of its manure-to-energy units to UK-based poultry farms.

In a statement, the company said that the move has generated €13 million in sales.

The firm manufactures manure-to-energy technology which is aimed at transforming the environmental impact of the global poultry industry.

The eight new BHSL Energy Centre units will all be installed by March 2017.

The patented technology will be shipped from BHSL’s plant in Ballagh, County Limerick, and represents the first fruits of an expansion strategy announced by the company’s chairman Denis Brosnan upon his appointment in October.

BHSL’s technology converts poultry manure into energy, which is then used to provide heating for future batches of chicks. BHSL’s system is the only one available that meets both US and EU environmental regulations, and allows farmers to use manure for power and heat rather than the traditional practice of transporting and spreading it on land as a fertiliser which is increasingly restricted by law due to pollution concerns.

The company said it also celebrated a world industry first, with technology it has installed in Maryland in the US and Norfolk in the UK producing electricity for the first time. The ability to generate electricity in addition to heat allows farmers use the power generated for other purposes on farm when there is less demand for heat in the poultry houses. Combined Heat and Power (CHP) solutions which generate electricity will also help farmers play their part in meeting the EU’s 2020 renewable energy targets

The company estimates that farms may be able to meet all their energy needs by using their manure as a fuel, thereby reducing costs and improving the sustainability of intensive poultry production.

‘Environmental benefits’

Commenting on the recent sales, BHSL managing director Declan O’Connor said: “We are very pleased to have agreed sales of 8 new units in recent months, as we implement our commercialisation strategy, and poultry farmers become more aware of the cost savings and environmental regulatory benefits of using our technology.

“We are preparing for a busy period in the months ahead, with the aim to make sales in excess of €40m in the company’s next financial year.”

BHSL’s founder and director of Research & Development Jack O’Connor added: “It was always the desire to generate electricity in addition to heat, and it is an exciting milestone to have now achieved this at sites in both the UK and US.

“Poultry farms have big electricity bills and there is enough manure created to provide both heat and electricity. In fact by generating electricity all the manure on a site can be utilised, completely removing the need to land spread manure which is increasingly considered a pollutant and restricted by law.”