The Northwest has the largest concentration of ‘low temperature’ process industries in the UK and, consequently, the highest demand for process heat. These industries are major users of combined heat and power (CHP) and are large producers of waste, which could be used as a feedstock.
Envirolink has found that four of the region’s major process industries – chemicals; textiles; paper and board; and food and drink – consume around 13,000 GWh annually. Of the 600 sites surveyed, 100 have the potential to switch to biomass for process heat and the total process heat demand for these sites is around 4800 GWh a year.
The Northwest of England has the largest woodchip supply chain in the country with over 2 million tonnes per annum.
Nigel Blandford, Senior Sector Development Manager at Envirolink Northwest, says: “It is a cheap fuel, costing as little as 0.5p kWh. The paper and board sector has been using this technology on the continent for decades. These industries are also able to use some of their process wastes in the fuel mix as well, making further savings.”
The study A survey of industrial process heat in England’s Northwest was funded by the Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform (BERR) using a grant administered by Government Office for the North West. A summary of the report can be viewed at www.envirolinknorthwest.co.uk .