Denis Brosnan-backed poultry manure-to-energy business makes €13m in sales

Brothers Jack O’Connor and Declan O’Connor in front of the BHSL Energy Centre prior to it being shipped to Maryland last week.
Brothers Jack O’Connor and Declan O’Connor in front of the BHSL Energy Centre prior to it being shipped to Maryland last week.
Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

Irish agri-tech business BHSL has agreed €13m in sales of its manure-to-energy technology, which is aimed at transforming the environmental impact of the global poultry industry.

It has sold eight new BHSL Energy Centre units to large UK poultry farms, which it says will be installed by March 2017.

The patented technology will be shipped from BHSL’s plant in Ballagh, Co Limerick, and represents the first fruits of an expansion strategy announced by the company’s Chairman Denis Brosnan upon his appointment in October.

BHSL’s technology converts poultry manure into energy, which is then used to provide heating for future batches of chicks.

According to the company, its system is the only one available that meets both US and EU environmental regulations, and allows farmers to use manure for power and heat rather than the traditional practice of transporting and spreading it on land as a fertiliser which is increasingly restricted by law due to pollution concerns.

The company also announced that with technology it has installed in Maryland in the US and Norfolk in the UK it is producing electricity for the first time.

It says that the ability to generate electricity in addition to heat allows farmers use the power generated for other purposes on farm when there is less demand for heat in the poultry houses.

BHSL estimates that farms may be able to meet all their energy needs by using their manure as a fuel, thereby reducing costs and improving the sustainability of intensive poultry production.

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BHSL recently commenced a process to raise at least €7m in new equity to support its global expansion and open offices in the US, continental Europe and the Middle East. It expects to complete this process by the end of February.

Commenting on the recent sales, BHSL Managing Director Declan O’Connor said the company was very pleased to have agreed sales of eight new units in recent months.

"We are preparing for a busy period in the months ahead, with the aim to make sales in excess of €40m in the company’s next financial year.”

The company says thatt there is a potential 95pc reduction in energy costs through using heat from the manure as a source for heating a new batch of chicks.

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