ABP set to invest in a renewable energy plant
Larry Goodman-owned ABP Food Group, which operates a large plant in Newry, says it will invest in a €24.5m (£22m) waste-to-energy plant in the UK through its renewable energy division Olleco.
The plant will produce enough sustainable energy to power the equivalent of 12,000 homes.
Olleco recently opened a 15 megawatt Anaerobic Digestion facility in Buckinghamshire in England.
The facility is located adjacent to the Arla dairy, allowing the dairy to become a zero carbon milk processing facility.
Robert Behan, managing director of Olleco, described the new facility as an "excellent" example of the circular economy in action, with multiple supply chain partners working together to deliver a sustainable outcome.
"This state of the art Olleco facility will convert in excess of 100,000 tonnes of waste into heat, power and bio-methane for export to the national grid, and bio-fertiliser for both of ABP Food Group's and Arla's farmer suppliers," Mr Behan said.
Mr Behan went on to say that sustainability was a key priority across the ABP Food Group.
Olleco, which employs over 600 people across the UK, collects waste food and cooking oil from the retail and food service sector and then converts this waste into bio diesel, bio gas and bio fertiliser.
In 2015, ABP opened the world's first certified carbon neutral abattoir in Shropshire in England, where waste material from the food processing operation is used in conjunction with used cooking oil to provide the energy requirements on site.
ABP is the largest beef processor in Ireland and the UK and employs 10,000 people, with 49 manufacturing plants in Ireland, UK, Denmark, Poland, Austria, Holland, France and Spain.
In June, Northern Ireland agri co-op Fane Valley announced it was extending its joint venture with ABP Food Group. Their relationship is now to include Linden Foods, the meat processing business of Fane Valley.
Linden Foods is a fresh meat processor with facilities in Dungannon and Burradon in England. It also owns Kettyle Irish Foods in Co Fermanagh. Dawn Meats has also entered into a joint venture with Northern Ireland firm Dunbia.