Minister gives go-ahead for biogas power facility

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Environment Minister Mark H Durkan has granted planning approval for a combined heat and power production unit at Bombardier’s Newtownabbey base on the Doagh Road.

The 500kw biogas powered unit will have the capacity to produce 500kw of electricity, which is the equivalent electricity supply for 300 homes.

Making the announcement on Friday morning (November 22), the Minister 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.”

Biogas is a renewable energy technology where the gas from decomposing organic matter is collected, usually through a process known as anaerobic digestion. The gas is cleaned and polished at source to make it suitable for use as a fuel. This is then used to power an engine unit which converts it to mechanical energy and then to electricity.

The biogas will not be produced at Bombardier’s Newtownabbey site, but sourced from suppliers and transported to the plant for electricity generation to power the unit.