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28/07/2021

Up to 600 farmers required to supply Thurles biorefinery

Greenhouse gases

SLurry will be collected from farms rather than being spread on the land in liquid form

The farmer will receive value for the biogas extracted, and nutrient content of the manure.

The notion of transforming farmyard waste into a green bio energy is not a new one, but mid Tipperary might be about to find out that it is the way forward.


Genos Resources plc's ambitious plans to develop a biorefinery close to Thurles will see them sign up as many as 600 farmers to supply the plant with slurry and farm yard manure, which will be collected from the farmer, transported to the location of the biorefinery and processed.


The farmer receives value for the biogas extracted, and nutrient content of the manure. The manures are degassed, decarbonised and dried in the central biorefinery to make granulated fertilisers which are then returned to the farmer. It seems like the ultimate win win scenario.


“This is not new - there are about 20-30 of these biorefineries operating in Denmark for instance so we are just taking the technology and adapting the concept to suit the scale of Irish farming operations.


“We are currently actively seeking farmers within a 50km radius of Thurles. We identified Thurles as a strategic location as it is in the heart of the Golden Vale. And, we have identifed three potential sites which we are currently looking closely at,” Mr Leon Mekitarian, of Genos Resources, told the Tipperary Star.

A typical biorefinery pictured above

“We have been extremely pleased with the positive reaction to our proposal and we are getting a great reaction from farmers so far. In fact, we are considering a second biorefinery project for south Tipperary such has been the response to our plans,” he added.


The scale of Irish farm holdings is simply too small to consider a biorefinery in isolation. However, by adopting a co-op style model bringing the raw material to a centralised biogas plant of scale, the project becomes economically viable, attractive and mutually beneficial for the farmer, the environment and the company.


The project, should it get off the ground, will bring Tipperary farmers and renewable energy together into a long term relationship - it is thought to be a first for Irish agriculture to have a joint national energy and circular economy project.
Farmers, as members of the Genos supply chain, earn extra income and shares in the agri-energy business, and of course it affords them the chance to address climate action in a very direct manner, by reducing the carbon footprint on the farms of Tipperary, according to the company.


The recovery of greenhouse gases from manures such as cattle and pig slurry, and also bedding and farm yard waste, will allow the Tipperary farmers to meet obligations under the National Climate Action Plan 2021 - one Genos plant operating from 2024 can meet 80% of the emission targets for the entire Irish agriculture sector.


Genos is not reliant on grants or government assistance to get the biorefineries off the ground and it is anticipated that by the end of the year, the planning process will be well underway - this is expected to take about 12 months to complete.
Of course there would also be considerable local employment created in the construction phase of the biorefinery, if, and when, work does finally get underway.

About Genos Resources plc

Genos Resources plc and the Genos Group of companies, which are behind the plan to build biorefineries in Tipperary at a total cost of almost a quarter of a billion Euro, were founded to meet the challenges that Irish agriculture faces in its energy transition to a low carbon future.


Despite the bad press which agriculture gets at times in terms of environemtal protection and climate change, farming, and farmers, have been custodians of the environment for centuries.


Genos offers the solution to much of the decarbonisation and carbon accounting issues that farmers now face in the coming decades.


Their green energy arm, Genos Bioenergy, brings Irish farmers and renewable energy together into a unique long term partnership. Creating a joint National Energy and a Circular Economy Project, a first for Irish Agriculture.
Brighter future


​As part of the Genos Green Deal they are partnering with farmers to create a brighter and more sustainable future for both their plant and farming.


The company believes that farmers can be part of the solution to Climate Change and by farming smarter farmers can produce the quality produce that everyone depends on for our day to day lives.


The company believes that by developing a truly circular economy that they can foster a more sustainable relationship with the land.


At Genos this is achieved by engaging with all stakeholders and developing an all inclusive solution and looking at decarbonising the entire journey of "farm-to-fork".


This journey involves the entire value chain and they endeavour to demonstrate that farming can be not only carbon neutral, but in fact carbon negative.


Thus allowing for farming to contribute their surplus of carbon to support their customers and the supply chain downstream

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