Cow manure to fuel planned Mapledurham power plant

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Manure from a herd of 500 cows will fuel a new power plant being proposed in Oxfordshire.

MS Power Projects is submitting a planning application for an anaerobic digester near Mapledurham, about six miles (9.6km) from Reading.

Robert Wytchard, estate manager of the site, said there was a "great need" for the project.

Engineer Sonya Heaven said the "closed process" would not create any unwanted smells.

She said: "It's done in the absence of air so it's got to be in a sealed vessel and that actually prevents smells which you might get in an open composting system."

Mr Wytchard said: "We're capturing some of the energy that we've already produced, using the methane to drive an engine to put power back into the National Grid.

"We're made conscious of our carbon footprint so methane going off up into the ozone layer could be a problem, so if we can capture that and turn it into something worthwhile then it's a win-win."

He added that profits would go towards restoring the listed buildings on the Mapledurham estate, the tourist attraction and family home where the dairy herd is based.

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