Porridge Power!

23 March 2008

Quaker, which produces Scott's Porage Oats, is installing a £6 million combined heat and power biomass boiler which it says will reduce its emissions by 9,000 tonnes a year – equivalent to the typical annual emissions of 3,000 cars.


The boiler – about five times more expensive than a conventional fossil-fuel model – will enable the site to become carbon-neutral, running entirely on renewable energy.


It will also export thousands of megawatts of renewable energy back into the National Grid.


Bosses say the scheme – which is backed by environmentalists – will make the factory at Uthrogle Mills, near Cupar in Fife, one of Scotland's greenest.


The head of the plant, Simon Ely, said: "This project is exciting, as it will mean none of the energy stored in our oats is wasted.


"Everyone knows porridge is a great source of energy for our bodies. Now we're planning to use the oat husks to power our Quaker facility.


"We will be involving our employees and neighbours fully in our plans, and consulting on the proposals. This will include seeking views on the best use of environmental technologies and ways they could provide spin-off benefits to other Fife businesses."


As well as powering itself, in the first three years of its operation the site will prevent the release of a further 1,800 tonnes of a year. It will export more than 1,300 megawatt hours of renewable energy back to the National Grid.


The move will also cut more than 172,000 road miles, as the firm will no longer have to trans

port 21,150 tonnes of husks away from the site each year.


Quaker, which is owned by PepsiCo, says this will eliminate another 600 tonnes of emissions annually.


Hugh Jones, solutions director of the Carbon Trust, said: "Every service or product we purchase has an impact on climate change, and it is clear that consumers and businesses are taking action to reduce carbon emissions.


"This innovative approach by Quaker to cut emissions will be a powerful signal to other businesses that reducing carbon emissions and looking for sustainable energy sources make business sense."


The oat husks, removed from the oats during the milling process, will deliver 9,709 MWhrs of electricity and 10,902 MWhrs of steam to the factory a year.


The Constituency MP, Sir Menzies Campbell, also backed the project, which he said could make the facility "a global leader in the environmental debate


Source: news.scotsman.com

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