Cargill signs ‘Poultry-Manure-to-Energy’ deal with BHSL

Projected 40 percent discount in energy costs over 20 years

Cargill’s European poultry business has signed a 20-year agreement with the Irish Agri-Tech company, BHSL, to convert poultry manure to energy with BHSL’s innovative technology on its Shobdon and Hangar poultry farm in Herefordshire, UK.

BHSL, the Limerick-based Agri-Tech company, will build a 1 MW (Mega Watt) plant on the farm to use some 3,500 tonnes of poultry litter a year to generate heat and electricity. This initiative demonstrates Cargill’s continued industry leadership through innovation and will set new standards in poultry production for the next decade

The 1,000m2 Approved Energy Centre and fuel store will contain the BHSL FBC (Fluidised Bed Combustion) plant, toploaders, and a Heliex electricity generation plant. A 3Km (Kilometers) district heating network and heaters for 13 poultry houses will also be installed.

BHSL will fund complete solutions in the UK for the poultry industry, whereby the company will design, build, finance, operate and maintain Manure-to-Energy facilities on independent growers’ or poultry integrator farms.

The heat and electricity generated on the Shobdon and Hangar poultry farm qualifies for the UK Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) and Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs).

The commissioning and operation of the new BHSL energy centre in Herefordshire will be approved and regulated by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA)

BHSL championed the development of the new rules for on-farm combustion of poultry manure at European Commission level, in close collaboration with the UK and Irish governments, on behalf of the European poultry industry. The resulting rules reclassified poultry manure as a valuable Animal By-Product for on-farm combustion, which meets emissions animal health and human health standards.

BHSL technology is currently the only approved system under the new European regulations EU 592/2014 that became law in July 2014.

John Reed, Agriculture Director, Cargill Meats Europe, said the company had selected BHSL for a number of reasons:

• The BHSL system is an innovative energy solution, which will allow us to operate our own sustainable on-farm energy supply.

• Litter from the farms will provide a consistent, dry and renewable fuel source and the enclosed manure handling system will help to improve biosecurity on and off farm.

• The clean, dry heat provides enhanced environmental conditions that not only provide energy savings but provide performance and bird welfare benefits.

• The system also carries significant environmental benefits, which includes low carbon production, reduced ammonia emissions and ground water protection.

Sustainability is at the forefront of our stakeholder and customer expectations and we believe this project provides an opportunity to demonstrate good agricultural practice in bird performance and responsible litter disposal.

Declan O’Connor, BHSL’s CEO, said that the conversion of manure to energy presents a transformational opportunity to the poultry industry – not just in the UK but globally. He stated:

“We are extremely excited to be working with Cargill, and helping them to extend their leadership in Sustainable Food Production. Cargill will be the first to leverage the proven benefits of using poultry manure on the farm to generate heat and electricity. This is a genuine Game Changer for the poultry industry, for the first time the by-product (manure) from chicken production is used as a low cost energy source to grow chicken sustainably and efficiently.

BHSL Founder, Mr. Jack O’Connor, pioneered the technology in response to restrictions in poultry manure spreading in South West Ireland. BHSL has worked closely with the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine through all phases of its subsequent development from early Research and Development to the finalisation in Brussels of the necessary new rules in EU Regulation 592/2014.


BHSL is an Irish Agri-Tech business focused on the application of its FBC technology to transform animal by-products sustainably. Having pioneered the technology and championed regulations for on-farm combustion of manure, BHSL is set for expansion across the UK, Europe and the USA.

Cargill is one of the world’s largest privately owned food production companies with over $130bn in revenues and operating in 67 countries with 153,000 employees. Cargill’s European Poultry business is a leading supplier and innovator of primary and further processed chicken products for retail, food service and food manufacturing customers. The business has processing facilities in the UK, France and Russia as well as a sales division based in the Netherlands, and employs over 3000 people.