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INDUSTRY NEWS Sawmill fires up biomass boiler T

he first sawmill in the UK to generate electricity from biomass fuel is BSW Timber, which

recently commissioned a £2.5 million Combined Heat and Power (CHP) boiler at its Carlisle mill. The state-of-the art 3.2 MW boiler is now operational and forms the latest phase of BSW’s £11 million investment programme in biomass energy.

During the last five years, BSW has commissioned seven biomass boilers at sawmills across the UK and Latvia, resulting in total heat capacity of some 38 MW to generate heat for the kiln drying process. The Carlisle CHP plant will provide heat for the kilns, treatment plant and offices, whilst also producing electricity to be used in the sawmill production process. It was delivered in partnership with biomass experts Dallol Energy. Welcoming the commissioning of the new plant, Tony Hackney, CEO of BSW Timber, said: “BSW’s current investment in biomass technology means that we are now saving more than 12,500 tonnes of CO2 (3,421 tonnes of carbon) each year,


across the business.

“The Carlisle biomass plant is our most significant investment to date and has been delivered, together with partners Dallol Energy, on time and on budget.”

He added: “Adopting biomass technology as a heating solution

has delivered both financial and environmental benefits in parallel with BSW’s ambitious growth plans, with all plants set to create a return on the initial investment within two to three years. Not only does biomass significantly reduce our carbon emissions, it also

makes overall site operations more sustainable”.

BSW Timber is the UK’s largest consumer of home-grown sawn softwood timber, consuming almost two million tonnes each year. Much of the timber is dried in on-site kilns, which were previously fuelled by oil boilers. The co-products of the sawmilling process, including wood chips and bark, were removed from the site by road transport. By transferring its heat production to CHP boilers and using co-products as fuel, BSW is also significantly reducing its reliance on road transport. In addition to the Carlisle plant, BSW Timber operates two 3 MW biomass boilers in Newbridge-on- Wye, a 5 MW plant in Dalbeattie and two 5 MW plants in Fort William, together with the 8 MW plant outside the UK in Latvia. This latest investment was part of BSW’s agreement with the British Government as part of its Carbon Commitment Agreement; in return, the company receives a discount on environmental utility taxes for ten years.

Kevin Young, Group Purchasing Manager, BSW Timber (left) and Victor Buchanan, Director, Dallol Energy, celebrate commissioning of the new CHP plant at Carlisle.

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