Belfast Telegraph

Full steam ahead for biogas plant

By Padraic Grant

A new power facility with the ability to provide 500kw of electricity is set to open in Newtownabbey after being granted planning permission this week.

It is the first of three Bombardier plants to gain planning approval, with two other applications submitted for the company's sites in Belfast and Dunmurry.

The heat and power engine unit will be powered using the renewable biogas method. This entails using the gas produced by decomposing organic matter, which is collected and cleaned at its source. It is then used to power an engine unit that converts mechanical energy into electricity.

The gas will not be produced at the Newtownabbey site, but sourced from suppliers and moved to the location to power the unit.

Speaking about the opening of the new plant, Environment Minister Mark H Durkan said: "This is a boost for one of our leading businesses which is exploring the benefits of new renewable energy technologies to reduce energy costs and reliance on fossil fuels. Renewable energy represents a real market opportunity for industry. This application demonstrates how we can minimise our resource consumption and sustain our environment, whilst boosting our economy."

The minister said: "This decision has been turned around in just six weeks and represents how a more efficient planning system is delivering the right decisions quickly for business.

"I will continue to ensure the right decisions are made as quickly as possible and that DOE builds a better environment and a stronger economy."

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