Green light for pig waste energy plant

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Work could start before the end of the year on creating Cornwall’s first pig waste energy plant at Higher Fraddon following an historic planning decision yesterday.

In their final application determination, members of the old Cornwall County Council planning committee unanimously approved, subject to conditions, the £4 million biogas plant proposed for Penare Farm by Fraddon Biopower Ltd.

The 844kw plant, believed to be the first of its type in the UK, will use anaerobic digestion technology to produce electricity and heat by processing gas extracted from pig slurry.

The ultra-green system will process the slurry from its 600-sow farrow-to-finish unit along with organic and food waste from local food processing companies. 

“The next task now is to sort out grant funding and commercial funding, with the aim of starting work by the end of this year,” said Russell Dodge, head of Truro-based Business Location Services, who have acted as planning consultants and undertook the environmental impact assessment.

“Once under way, the project will take around six to eight months to complete.  We are delighted that all the hard work put into such a visionary project has been rewarded with a truly historic first for Cornwall.  The project will bring enormous environmental and economic benefits to the county.”

The scheme involves the erection of buildings and machinery, with a reception building, digestate tank, flare stack and landscaping.  The plant will be able to produce up to one megawatt of green renewable electricity at any one time. 

Dodge stressed that the project would not harm the amenities of neighbouring residents, whilst traffic flows would be reduced, even with vehicles bringing in food waste.  

He added:  “Food production is a major industry in Cornwall and waste from that has to go somewhere, so in the bigger scheme of things the Higher Fraddon development will be a  major plus for the county.”