The UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) and Equitix have today announced a £24.5m investment to finance the installation of renewable energy boilers at Bernard Matthews’ turkey farms. The project, the largest of its kind, will see 179 new biomass boilers installed across 21 farms in Norfolk, Suffolk and Lincolnshire, meaning that 40% of Bernard Matthews’ estate will benefit from the new renewable energy technology.
Shaun Kingsbury, chief executive, UK Green Investment Bank, said: ‘Across the UK, GIB is starting to see some excellent examples, from farsighted companies, of the commercial benefits that come from investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy generation. These benefits can be significant, especially for energy intensive industries, including many parts of the farming industry. Bernard Matthews has placed sustainability at the heart of its business and we are pleased to be able to support them in their ambition to generate 100% of their energy sustainably.’
The project was conceived, designed, and managed by Lumicity, a leading renewable energy developer. In addition to reducing costs, the new boilers will have a significant green impact by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The dry heat biomass systems will also produce a number of benefits due to the improved circulation of heat, including reduced ammonia levels, reduced ventilation requirements, and increased litter (bedding) quality.
The project will create around 51 jobs in the local area, including nine full time permanent positions.
The Equitix managed fund, Energy Saving Investments (ESI), in which GIB is the cornerstone investor, is investing £12m in the project. This mobilises an additional £12.5m of additional private sector capital from the Equitix Energy Efficiency Fund (EEEF).
David Joll, Executive chairman, Bernard Matthews, said: “Sustainability is central to our long term business strategy. We’re already generating a large proportion of our energy needs from other renewable sources including solar and wind and with the addition of biomass boilers on our farms, we’re well placed to be generating 100 per cent of our energy sustainably by 2016.”
Vince Cable, Business Secretary, said: “We set up the UK Green Investment Bank to kick start investment in renewable energy technology like this. Bernard Matthews has seen that energy efficiency makes good business sense and I am confident that more companies will follow. Today’s investment will have a significant green impact by reducing carbon emissions and benefits local economies by creating green jobs across three counties.”
Geoff Jackson, chief executive officer, Equitix, said: “We are pleased to be investing further GIB capital into a project that not only benefits Bernard Matthews, by reducing their costs, but also benefits the environment. We have a strong pipeline of opportunities to deploy GIB funds into future energy efficiency projects alongside additional private sector capital.”
Tristan Fischer, chief executive officer, Lumicity: said: “Lumicity is delighted to have brought together Bernard Matthews with the latest, proven biomass technology providers and Equitix energy efficiency finance. We are very proud to have played a leading role in the development of one of the largest installations of distributed heating in the UK. We look forward to working with the various parties as we continue to manage the project.”