Island Methane Power Plant Proposed
by Alison Johnson
Dutch food company Vion wants to produce electricity using methane gas from chicken carcasses from a factory site at Llangefni on Anglesey.
The ambitious proposal envisages a biogas plant built at Brynteg, near Benllech, producing enough electricity for over 1,400 homes on the island.
This plan would see Par Contractors transport over 10,000 tonnes of carcasses from the Grampian Country Foods (wholly owned subsidiary of Vion) slaughterhouse at Llangefni to the biogas power plant at Ynys Uchaf, Brynteg.
Benefits of the proposed £2.8 million project include saving energy otherwise wasted as the carcasses rot, avoiding release of methane, a greenhouse gas which is twenty times more potent than carbon dioxide, and helping to saving six local jobs.
At the moment Par Contractors distributes this animal waste from Grampian foods to various Environment Agency approved agricultural sites across Anglesey, while the blood is taken to England where it is incinerated.
The company has been removing waste from the Llangefni plant for over 20 years.
When the animal waste is delivered to Ynys Uchaf at Brynteg, it would be stored in special underground plastic storage tanks where it would break down under anaerobic digestion, thus releasing the methane.
Using anaerobic digestion means the blood as well as the carcass remains and other waste can be sent to the Ynys Uchaf site.
The methane would then be burnt and this would power a turbine which can generate electricity.
Local Councillor Barry Durkin said that local people are against the idea, saying it would create a smell and that there would be a noise from the plant.
He also added that there is concern about the proximity of the proposed location to a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
It seems inevitable that a group of local people will kick up a fuss about any initiative, but this one certainly deserves to succeed.
Apart from saving local jobs, it is actually saving energy and avoiding the release of methane, a harmful greenhouse gas, from the existing waste locations.
Crucially it is another way of generating green electricity close to the end user.
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