Cooperate to innovate

Gepubliceerd op
2 december 2014

SIC Sterksel has entered into a cooperation agreement with Re-N Technology to work on the production of green energy and biofertiliser from pig manure in the coming years. Re-N Technology will take over the running of the biogas plant. Together with other partners SIC Sterksel will focus completely on research and knowledge transfer. This cooperation will be a win-win situation for all parties concerned.

Based on cooperation with Re-N Technology, SIC Sterksel intends to works towards a closed unit for slurry processing. In 2011 SIC Sterksel took the decision to focus completely on the development and testing of innovations on parts of farm systems and processes in pig husbandry. The pig farm at SIC Sterksel is a closed facility with approximately 350 sows and 2100 porkers. The pigs here are used for research as much as possible. Pigs that are no longer used for research are transferred to two leased porker housing units outside SIC Sterksel. This operational structure enables SIC Sterksel to work on innovation in all areas of sow and fattening pig husbandry.

Re-N Technology intends to continue development at SIC Sterksel so that the pig slurry is converted into green energy and then processed into biofertiliser. Until now slurry and its co-products have only been digested for operational purposes, namely for the production of green electricity. Research mainly involves experiments with mono-digesters that can be used at farm level. By combining processing with digestion in the future, more manure can be digested and fewer co-products will be required. For SIC Sterksel this new situation will provide opportunities for research into manure “from the pig’s tail to the plant’s roots”. An ideal situation for the innovation centre for pig husbandry.

SIC Sterksel will continue to invest in its operation so that it can continue to innovate for pig farmers. The cooperation with Re-N Technology will stimulate the necessary practical research with the aim of making pig manure profitable in the future. Cooperation will not only make Sterksel stronger, but is also required to reinforce the worldwide leading position of the Dutch pig sector.

Han Swinkels

(manager at SIC Sterksel)