Biomass roll-out for Bernard Matthews

UK turkey producer Bernard Matthews is to fit 21 of its turkey farms with biomass boilers.

A total of 179 biomass boilers will be installed at sites across Norfolk, Suffolk and Lincolnshire. Bernard Matthews says 'the project highlights the growing demand for biomass within the poultry industry as companies seek to cut energy bills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions'.

As well as reducing emissions, the project will help Bernard Matthews achieve fuel savings against its current costs. The company was previously using liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as a fuel. The boilers will be initially powered by woodchips, however, from 2015 new EU regulations mean that poultry litter can also be used as fuel.

The project is managed by Lumicity, a specialist in developing renewable energy solutions. It identified the sites, designed the project, advised Bernard Matthews throughout the process of tendering and negotiating, and sourced the funding. The company will continue to manage the project for the next 20 years.

Lumicity secured £24.5 million (€30.6 million) of funding for the project from the UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) via its Energy Saving Investments (EIS) fund. GIB is the cornerstone investor in the Equitix-managed ESI fund, which is investing £12 million in the project. This mobilises an additional £12.5 million of additional private sector capital, from the Equitix Energy Efficiency Fund.

'David Joll, executive chairman, Bernard Matthews, says: 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% of our energy sustainably by 2016.'

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