Belfast Telegraph

Haulage firm invests £3m in green energy unit

By Amanda Poole

Haulage company McCulla Ireland is investing more than £3m in a new 500 kilowatt anaerobic digestion plant at its Co Antrim base.

Planning consultants advising the refrigeration transport fleet operator, located at Blaris Industrial Estate in Lisburn, said the renewable energy investment will boost its competitiveness and reduce its carbon footprint. Thomas Bell of Clyde Shanks says the innovative project promises to boost the local economy and the agricultural sector in the Lisburn area.

"The site's industrial context, its central location for drawing feedstock, and its location adjacent to a strategic arterial route, the M1, lends itself very well to anaerobic digestion from a planning policy perspective, and it is hoped that planning permission will be secured by April 2013," he said. "The scheme promises many benefits; not only by enhancing the competitiveness and sustainability of a major local employer, but also by providing jobs in the construction of the plant and a supply of bio-fertiliser for local farmers."

The anaerobic process produces renewable energy via a combined heat and power plant similar to that at the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute plant in Hillsborough, to power the McCulla complex, with surplus energy being sold back into the grid. The by-product, organic digestate, will be land-spread back onto farm land as a bio-fertiliser.

McCulla's managing director, Ashley McCulla, said: "While many companies are consolidating in these tough times, we are confident that making this investment will be very beneficial not only to ourselves but to the wider community."

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