When might a new beet plant be built?

This week, Beet Ireland took a major step in its plan to revive the beet industry in this country. It held its first meeting with potential growers on Wednesday, November 7, in conjunction with the Irish Tillage and Land Use Society.

Work on reviving the beet industry in this country has been ongoing since 2011. At this time, a feasibility study on the industry was carried out.

In the meantime, Beet Ireland investigated possible sites for a beet plant, looked at how sugar is produced in other countries and at other possible uses for the beet crop such as bio-ethanol.

Beet Ireland has six directors:
  • Michael Hoey;
  • Chris Harmon;
  • Brian Arnold;
  • Simon Cross;
  • Jim O’Regan;
  • Pat Cleary.

2017 – site acquisition

2017 saw a major change in the industry as quotas were abolished in the EU, meaning that Ireland could once again produce beet for the open market. It was in this year that Beet Ireland acquired a site at Ballyburn on the Carlow/Kildare border.

2018 – grower engagement

By the end of this year – 2018 – Beet Ireland hopes to have finished a series of grower engagement meetings and identified interested parties who have put €1,000 on the table to buy into a farmers co-operative.

2019 – planning

All going to plan, 2019 will see the formation of a growers co-operative and the formation of a new company which Beet Ireland and that co-operative will invest in. The facility design is also to be finalised, while the planning process is also set to begin.

2020-2022 – construction

Beet Ireland plans to start construction on the site for the new beet plant following the planning application process and complete work on the site in 2022.