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New power plant fuelled by pig waste

PUBLISHED: 16:26 23 October 2009 | UPDATED: 08:45 01 August 2010

A POWER plant fuelled by pig waste and capable of providing electricity for up to 2,000 homes is to be built in west Suffolk.

It is understood the plant will be the first in Suffolk capable of turning vegetables, energy crops and pig manure into power using a system called anaerobic digestion.

A POWER plant fuelled by pig waste and capable of providing electricity for up to 2,000 homes is to be built in west Suffolk.

It is understood the plant will be the first in Suffolk capable of turning vegetables, energy crops and pig manure into power using a system called anaerobic digestion.

The site for the plant, a family-owned Symonds Farm near Risby, Bury St Edmunds, will today be visited by West Suffolk MP Richard Spring and the Mayor of St Edmundsbury Pat Warby.

The scheme, which won planning permission from St Edmundsbury Borough Council in September, will turn unsellable vegetables, crops and manure into electricity and organic fertilizer.

Those behind the scheme, Geo E Gittus and Son, hope the facility will produce enough heat and electricity to provide for 2,000 homes.

The site will produce 1 megawatt per hour of electricity and 1.2 megawatt per hour of heat.

Mr Spring said the plant was “a step in the right direction” adding: “We are committed to encouraging greater use of renewable energy wherever possible.”

A spokeswoman for the firm said: “We have 12 of these plants across Europe and this is the first of its type in the UK.

“Anaerobic digestion is a naturally occurring process which is similar to that which occurs within a cow's stomach.

“It breaks down organic matter to produce biogas which can be used as a renewable energy source for heat and power. The digested material will be utilised by the farm as an organic fertiliser, reducing the reliance on artificial inorganic fertilisers and in turn benefit the environment.”

Construction work on the farm site is expected to start in the New Year.

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