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Published in FARMERS JOURNAL 22.11.2003

Could this provide an outlet for Irleand's meat and bone meal?

A solution for the country's Meat and Bone Meal (MBM) crisis has been submitted to the Ministers for Agriculture Joe Walsh and Environment Martin Cullen.

This solution is based on treating the MBM by Alkaline and Acid Hydrolysis in a new plant based at the decommissioned ESB site at Ferbane Co Offaly. ECO Tech Industries, the company backing the project, claims that the Alkaline Hydrolysis process eliminates the MBM without incineration or risk. "There are no emissions, there is no incineration and there is no chimney stack, "claims the backers which include Rory and Gary Power New Ross and John Foley former Engineer with Phillips Petroleum. The total cost of the project is put at about Euro25M. The end products from the Alkaline Hydrolysis will be gas, which will be used as the energy source to run the plant with the excess used to generate electricity, plus a soupy feedstock for the biotechnology industry. The whole process is capable of creating at least 60 jobs many of which will be high tech, say the backers.

The Ferbane unit will be capable of handling the annual Irish MBM output of 160,000 tonnes which includes the 40,000 tonnes of SRM (Specific Risk Material), claim the backers who also propose to process the 250,000 tonnes of MBM stored in about 40 depots around Ireland. And because Alkaline Hydrolysis destroys the BSE prion the proposed Ferbane unit could also be an outlet for the BSE carcasses which are currently stored in a frozen state by the Department of Agriculture. A planning application is in the process of being submitted to Offaly County Council. The backers of the proposal state that Ferbane is centrally located to service the country's nine MBM manufacturers. It is envisaged that ECO Tech Industries will charge for handling the MBM but the proposal could deliver a solution to what has been a major headache for the Irish Government and the Irish beef industry.

The alternative is to build an incinerator or ship the MBM to Europe for destruction.


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