Irish agritech business BHSL has appointed former Kerry Group chief executive Denis Brosnan as chairman of the company as it launches a process to raise at least €7million in new equity to support its global expansion.

The Co Limerick-based company says its technology is transforming poultry production by turning a cost centre (dealing with waste manure) into a source of fuel, thereby driving farm profitability through reduced energy bills.

The equity raised will be used to increase the company’s sales presence globally and extend its research and development spend to combust other materials such as industrial waste and spent mushroom compost. BHSL has appointed corporate finance firm, Focus Consulting, to lead the capital raise.

Board strengthened

Ahead of the capital raise, BHSL has strengthened its board by making a number of appointments. In addition to Mr Brosnan, the company has appointed, as non-executive directors, former ESB chief executive Pádraig McManus, retired Supreme Court judge Fidelma Macken, veteran corporate financier David Hickey and Limerick businessman Tom Lynch.

Managing director Declan O’Connor said: “I am delighted to have someone of Denis’s stature join as our chairman. He brings decades of experience in the agribusiness sector and will provide huge support as we enter a new growth phase for the business and target new export markets.”

Mr O’Connor added that the European Union’s 2014 authorisation of the use of poultry manure as a fuel was acting as a “key catalyst” driving interest in BHSL’s technology from large-scale poultry producers across Europe, with similar regulatory changes supporting the opportunity in the US and other markets.

In July, BHSL announced a $3 million pilot project with the state of Maryland to trial its technology, and BHSL’s system is already fully operational on two UK farms with further installations anticipated in 2016. The company is also building a very strong sales pipeline for product delivery in 2017 in other export markets such as New Zealand, Poland, Germany, Holland, Italy and Saudi Arabia.

Source: Irish Times,  18 October 2016