The Green Investment Bank (GIB) and Foresight Group have committed £1.7m to the construction of a Northern Irish farming family’s £3.4m anaerobic digestion (AD) plant.
It is the third Northern Irish AD plant that GIB and Foresight have funded - following those in County Tyrone and County Down - and will be built and operated by engineering company Williams Industrial Services.
The investment is being made through the Foresight-managed Recycling and Waste LP (RAW) fund, in which GIB is a cornerstone investor.
Silage, slurry, chicken litter and beet will be used at the Armagh plant to generate a biogas that will produce renewable electricity when combusted in a gas engine. The 18,500 tonnes of digestate produced by the plant annually will be used as fertiliser on local fields.
GIB head of investment banking, Ed Northam said: “Investing in AD encourages rural businesses to be self-sufficient, reducing their reliance on fossil fuels and diverting organic waste from landfill. Northern Ireland has once again proven that it is awake to that opportunity.”
Foresight director, Phil Kent said: “We are thrilled to announce this second investment by the RAW fund in small-scale AD’, which reflects the continuing demand for AD and the growing pipeline of opportunities for our investors.
SQN Capital Management will invest the remaining £1.7m in the 0.5MW plant, which will generate 3,600MWh of renewable electricity per year while cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 2,000 tonnes.
SQN director, Neil Roberts said: “This is the third investment in AD projects in Northern Ireland that SQN has supported in conjunction with the GIB and Foresight and we hope to make further investments together in the future.”
This comes after an agreement was reached at the Paris Climate Change conference, with a commitment to keep global temperatures well below 20C.
Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association chief executive, Charlotte Morton, called on prime minister David Cameron to assess the Government’s ability to deliver on the UK’s commitment to cutting emissions.
She said: “With the renewable heat incentive budget commitment, AD can now deliver a third of the additional 20TWh renewable heat required by 2020 to meet the government’s 12% target.”