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Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Minister Edwin Poots has visited the Stream BioEnergy (SBE) Biogas Plant near Ballymena to see the innovative technology and congratulate SBE on over three years of successful operations.

Minister Poots said: “I am delighted to see this Anaerobic Digestor with enhanced innovative technology in action, processing poultry litter in a sustainable way and generating renewable energy. The SBE plant is helping to manage poultry litter in Northern Ireland in an environmentally friendly manner. It is diverting phosphorus away from agricultural land where surpluses are causing an adverse impact on water quality. The SBE Plant is the first facility in the world to operate exclusively on poultry litter as a feedstock source, at this scale.”

The SBE Plant is a unique biogas facility that generates renewable energy from poultry litter as the sole feedstock. It generates 3MW of renewable electricity from 40,000 tonnes of poultry litter each year, enough to power approximately 4,000 homes. The Plant was co-funded under the Sustainable Utilisation of Poultry Litter (SUPL) Scheme in 2016. The SUPL Scheme was a joint initiative between DARD, DETI, Invest NI and the Strategic Investment Board (SIB). The total cost of the project was £23.3million, of which Invest Northern Ireland provided a repayable £7.4million loan at a commercial based interest rate and £1.3million equity under the SUPL Scheme.

The Minister concluded: “The SBE plant demonstrates the multiple benefits that can be delivered from manure processing technologies in terms of renewable energy, the environment and the economy.”