Delegation Visit NI to Learn From Local Green Energy Company

Delegation Visit NI to Learn From Local Green Energy Company

23 October 2010

Pioneers in the recycling of organic effluents and sludges using short rotation willow coppice plantations,
Rural Generation, are playing host this week to a delegation of German and Austrian renewable energy
experts and academics from one of the world's leading biomass boiler manufacturers, KWB Biomass
Heating Systems.

The European delegation, which also includes leading environmental journalists from Austria and
Germany, has come to Northern Ireland on a special fact finding visit with a view to learning from Rural
Generation's unique holistic model.

During the visit, the delegation have met with Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development Michelle
Gildernew at Parliament Buildings, Stormont as well as the First Minister Rt. Hon Peter D. Robinson,
MLA, and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MP, MLA at the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute
(AFBI) in Loughgall, Co. Armagh.

Stephan Jantscher, CEO of KWB Biomass Systems GmbH, commented: "The introduction of tighter EU
Waste Management Legislation and regulation has meant that it has become increasingly important for
organisations to dispose of their waste in a compliant and environmentally sustainable manner."
Stephan continued: "With this in mind, my colleagues and I are delighted to visit Northern Ireland and
are particularly interested in learning about Rural Generation's work with regards to the development of
willow and its usage in waste management processes. We are also interested in learning about the
direction of government policy in Northern Ireland in relation to energy and carbon issues. The visit has
been very enlightening indeed."

John Gilliland, Chairman of Rural Generation, commented: "We are very pleased to welcome the team
from KWB to Northern Ireland and to our company headquarters in Brook Hall, Co. Londonderry and we
hope they have found their visit to be informative and enjoyable."

"Willow has a very high transpiration and growth rate and uses up large volumes of nutrients and water
as it grows. This system acts as a very effective biofilter, converting useful nutrients, such as nitrogen,
phosphorus and potassium, contained in the waste streams, and reducing the levels of pollutants in the
environment. The willow crop is fertilised by the nutrients and is then harvested for wood fuel energy.
We provide advice and assistance regarding soil and waste stream suitability and nutrient management
planning together with complete willow crop establishment."

The KWB team were joined by the First and Deputy First Minister when they visited the Agri-Food and
Bioscience Institute at Loughgall where they saw the work that is being undertaken by Rural Generation
Limited into the use of willow as a fuel product.

During the visit Mr Robinson commented: "The work being undertaken here is vital, renewable energy
not only helps mitigate against climate change but also helps to address the current disadvantages
associated with being so heavily dependent on fossil fuels from overseas."

Mr McGuinness said: "The work being undertaken by AFBI and Rural Generation is groundbreaking and
has the full support of the Executive. Over the course of the coming days the delegation from Austria
will see some truly innovative work in the field of renewable energy."

Rural Generation

Rural Generation is the UK and Ireland's market leader in providing environmental and renewable
energy solutions using willow and was one of the early pioneers of the embryonic wood biomass and
renewable heat industry in Ireland.
As well as providing cost effective biomass heating solutions for commercial, public sector and
residential clients, Rural Generation are world class specialists in willow development and have carried
out extensive research over the last 20 years. The Londonderry based company has also distinguished
itself in the recycling of organic effluents and sludges - providing clients with an eco friendly route for
recycling organic waste into energy by developing short rotation willow coppice plantations which are
then irrigated with waste water effluent. The results of these pioneering efforts are significant cost
savings and reduced CO2 emissions for those working in the agri-food and dairy sector throughout

Operating on a world stage, the company has planted in excess of 1,000 hectares of willow throughout
Ireland; 100 hectares in Scotland; and 250 hectares in New York, giving them plentiful access to a
sustainable, indigenous, long term wood fuel supply which can meet all customer needs.
For further information please visit


KWB Biomass Heating Systems operates the biggest private research centre for biomass in Europe
leading the way in the design and production of biomass boilers which burn wood chips and pellets.

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Delegation Visit NI