Sustainable energy source to help cut UK’s carbon emissions
London, 13 December 2006 – In a partnership that will directly reduce the UK’s production of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels by up to 25,000 tonnes a year, the Energy Crops Company has joined forces with Biojoule to produce and market climate neutral biomass pellets in the UK. The partnership will bring together Biojoule’s local production technology with Energy Crops’ national distribution and logistics capabilities, and will strengthen the supply chain for both companies’ customers.
The partnership will contribute towards the UK’s commitments to cut emissions under international agreements.
Peter Webster of Energy Crops, the leading provider of sustainable, wood-fired heating solutions, says: “Pellet fired burners are proven technology – many parts of Europe, especially Scandinavia, have been using pellets as an energy source for years. They are a cost-effective and sustainable alternative to fossil fuels in both domestic and commercial environments, and provide heat with no smoke, leaving only a light, clean ash. Pellets are clean and dry, almost dust-free, and easy to store and handle. Furthermore, pellets can now be supplied at prices that compete with, or even beat, mains gas in most UK locations.”
Mike Mason of Biojoule, manufacturer of biomass pellets, says: “This partnership creates a distributed local pellet supply network that will help consumers and businesses to cut carbon dioxide emissions. The recent publication of Sir Nicholas Stern’s report on the costs of climate change has spelled out the need to adopt new ways of thinking when it comes to energy supply and use. This partnership will have a real impact on the UK’s environmental performance - each plant we bring on stream will produce enough pellets to displace up to 25,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.”
Biojoule’s new pellet plant, near Retford in Nottinghamshire, will be the first facility to benefit from this partnership. Biojoule’s unique technology will be used to refine locally-grown wood and energy crops into high-energy, wood pellet fuel. The plant will be operated in conjunction with Coppice Resources Ltd, who has recruited local farmers to grow short rotation coppice from which to produce pellets. The Energy Crops Company will then offer a high quality delivery service to customers in the region. Short rotation coppice offers a sustainable and economically viable use of land as well as an attractive energy crop fuel for local power stations that is compliant with their obligations for the use of renewable fuels.
“The Biojoule partnership will underpin long term supply arrangements with our customers,” explains Webster. “Many large new building developments are switching from fossil fuels to sustainable energy. Developers have discovered that the wood pellet boilers that we supply are the cheapest and most reliable way of complying with building regulations.”
“Our plant will come on stream in early 2007”, adds Mason. “Over the past three years we have built up considerable expertise in the production of easy-to-handle wood fuel. We have also developed excellent relationships with growers of energy crops throughout the country, and expect to roll out our pellet production technology across the UK. Partnering with the Energy Crops Company will give us considerable production flexibility and provide a solid foundation for further investment.”
Notes to editors:
About wood fuel
Wood is an ideal fuel for the UK. It can be as cheap or cheaper than oil or gas, but emits much less carbon dioxide when burnt. Raw wood chips are also as useful as crude oil, and turning them into pellets, like refining crude oil, transforms a difficult-to-handle, unpredictable and low-value fuel into a predictable, clean, high-value fuel that is easy to store, transport and handle.
Traditional pellet plants are large fixed installations usually attached to major sawmills. This means that smaller woodland and energy crop farmers are missing out on a major market opportunity, and energy consumers who don’t live near a large sawmill are denied a green and cost-competitive choice.
Burning a tonne of coal produces about 3.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide. The output from each Biojoule plant could replace 7,000 tonnes of coal and thus avoid about 25,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide. Burning biomass from sustainably managed sources is effectively climate neutral . Almost all of the carbon dioxide released on combustion is reabsorbed by crops or trees that have replaced the fuel being burnt.
About The Energy Crops Company
The Energy Crops Company was set up in 2005 to provide sustainable wood-fired heating solutions to a wide range of commercial and industrial customers. It specialises in the supply of wood pellet fuel and, through its network of partners, delivers a complete service for converting to biomass heating.
The founding directors of the company have extensive experience in both the agricultural and energy sectors, and are uniquely placed to deliver affordable renewable energy, using their knowledge of supply chain economics and industry contacts. It employs proven technology and tried and tested materials. At the same time the company is leading the way in introducing new forms of pellet manufacture, handling and distribution.
For more information go to: www.energy-crops.com
Biojoule was set up in 2003 to develop and exploit technologies for producing biomass as a renewable fuel . Biojoule has developed a new way to produce wood pellets, that opens up exciting opportunities for fuel growers and energy users alike. It is fully automated and uses advanced drying technology. It is also small scale, modular and movable, which means that it can be taken to smaller resource areas – following forestry operations or working with energy crop grower groups. Each plant will produce about 10,000 tonnes of pellets per year. All this will allow Biojoule to offer a regular supply of locally produced biomass pellets . Biojoule pellets are made from 100% virgin timber, from clean primary wood processing by products or from purpose grown energy crops.
About Coppice Resources Ltd
Coppice Resources Ltd (CRL) was formed to develop short rotation coppice (SRC) as a key agricultural crop and energy source. Its four East Midlands directors have the UK's most concentrated pool of experience and expertise in the commercial growing of SRC. The company's objective is to advance this knowledge and make it available to both the farming community and the renewable energy industry throughout the UK.
SRC is planted using cuttings and currently attracts a grant to help with establishment costs. SRC is harvested on a three-year cycle with very little input required in between. Each hectare of land produces about 30 tonnes every three years. SRC can be grown on all agricultural land without affecting any entitlements to Single Farm Payments, and also may attract an energy crop supplement. CRL assists with grant applications, advise on site preparation, provide planting material, and do the planting. CRL also handles the harvesting and delivery to the Biojoule processing plant.
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