Gas Networks Ireland: Farming is ‘key to our ambition’

A representative of Gas Networks Ireland has said that agriculture is vital to the company’s ambition to produce renewable gas.

Speaking on Newstalk today, December 11, Ian O’Flynn, head of commercial and corporate affairs at Gas Networks Ireland, said that: “Agriculture is key to our overall ambition.”

It’s for this reason, said Flynn, that the company has chosen Mitchelstown in Co. Cork for the first of 18 ‘injection points’ to pump renewable gas into the national grid.

Mitchelstown has all the ingredients we require to produce renewable gas.

“It has grass, it has animal slurry, animal waste, and very importantly, it has a vibrant community that’s really interested in promoting this; so again, we’re delighted that this area will be our first step into this,” said Flynn.

Flynn outlined the process by which the renewable gas will be produced, using ‘Anaerobic Digestion (AD) Plants’ which would be run and operated mainly by farmers.

He added that the whole process would be “largely agriculturally based”.

Last week on FarmLand, Ian Kilgallon, business development and innovation manager for Gas Networks Ireland, spoke to us in greater detail on the new project.

His colleague Flynn went on to explain that the ingredients for this process are approximately 40% slurries and manures, and about 60% grass and rotation crops.

Flynn added that one of the by-products of the AD process is a bio-fertiliser that can go back on the land.

The project got the green light from the Government last month, when it was named as one of the plans to receive new funding under the Government’s Climate Action Fund.

“The Mitchelstown project was recently announced when we were shortlisted as one of the projects for the climate action group, and that endorsement from the Government is hugely important for us,” said Flynn.