Processing capacity at BMC Moerdijk increases

In recent years, BMC Moerdijk has invested heavily in research, installation improvements, and process optimization. This allows the plant to process 10,000 tonnes more poultry manure per year because the power plant is very stable and has to be taken out of service for maintenance on a limited basis every year. Therefore, Cooperative DEP has room to admit new members for this tonnage.

In 2018, poultry farmers signed up en masse for a second term of poultry manure delivery. As a result, the plant can certainly continue to run until 2030. This sets an example for other sectors, as Minister Schouten said when publishing the outlines for the new fertilizer policy.

Proven reliable long-term solution

‘With BMC Moerdijk, our members have year-round sales security now and in the future and we provide professional logistical and administrative handling at a competitive and transparent price. Additionally, our members contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. It also preserves important nutrients for agriculture — such as phosphate — and removes unwanted substances from the cycle,’ says Wil van der Heijden, director of Coöperatie DEP. ‘The BMC Moerdijk process can also relieve poultry farmers of the burden of unexpected events in their operations, where in most cases thermal processing of poultry manure at high temperatures proves to be the most and sometimes the only suitable solution.’

Poultry farmers wanted

We expect that the limit of 300,000 MWh will be passed in 2020. This would be enough power for over 80,000 households. If successful, this will be a great achievement, especially since the plant was designed to produce 270,000 MWh. Previously, the power plant stood idle for an average of 30 days a year for inspection and maintenance. Van der Heijden expects that to be 20 days a year now, which means that about 10,000 extra tonnes of poultry manure can be processed. ‘Poultry farmers who are still looking for security and burden relief in poultry manure disposal can apply and build on our joint success together.’

Another positive note is the valorization of the ash that remains after processing. BMC Moerdijk produces over 55,000 tonnes of ash per year that is sold outside the Netherlands. The ash, which contains phosphate and potassium among other things, is used directly as fertilizer or added to other fertilizers for arable farming in Europe. ‘Sales are going well at the moment and we are happy about that. In this way, this circular process makes an important contribution to the Dutch climate objectives,’ says Van der Heijden.