PRESS RELEASE: – LC Energy wins 15 year woodchip contract at London Heathrow Airport.
The biomass system will be fuelled each year with over 25,000 tonnes of woodchip supplied by LC Energy from sustainable virgin timber sources within 100 miles of the airport.
BAA Plc., owner of Heathrow Airport and five other airports in the UK, has pioneered the use of biomass in the aviation industry. Having installed a wood fuel heating system at Stansted Airport in 2008, BAA remains one of the first airport operators in the world to have its primary heat source provided by wood fuel.
As part of a complete rebuild of Terminal 2, Heathrow Airport has procured a 10MW biomass CHP system to provide renewable heat and power across its passenger terminals. The biomass energy centre will be operational in line with the opening of Terminal 2 in January 2013.
Heathrow Airport’s environmental strategy is to reduce its CO2 emissions from energy use by 30% by 2020 compared with 1990 levels, despite passenger numbers growing by 130% during that time.
The wood for the boiler will be sourced by LC Energy from sustainably managed woodlands in the region, mainly situated within a 100 mile radius of the airport terminal. Once it has been harvested the wood is chipped and stored at one of LC Energy’s main hubs situated less than two miles from the airport, which will significantly reduce the environmental impact of transporting wood chip long distances to the boiler.
Mark Lebus, Managing Director of LC Energy said, “This is a tremendous contract for LC Energy as we grow our business in line with the rapidly expanding biomass market. It also demonstrates that major blue chip organisations like BAA are taking serious steps to meet environmental targets and at the same time creating their secure supply of locally sourced timber.” He continued, “It is essential that the wood fuel is sourced from the immediate area as it capitalises on local wood to provide local heat, brings more woodland back into management and enables a significant reduction in transport emissions.”
According to the Forestry Research Agency², it is estimated that if harvested responsibly, there is an estimated annual sustainable production of over 750,000 tonnes of timber from woodlands within 100 miles of the airport.
Now in its fifth year of trading, LC Energy supplies wood fuel, feasibility and design, service and maintenance to hotels, hospitals, schools, care homes, housing developments and Councils across the South and East of England including the Hilton Hotel Group and BAA Stansted Airport.
¹ Biomass takes carbon out of the atmosphere while it is growing, and returns it as it is burned. If it is managed on a sustainable basis, biomass is harvested as part of a constantly replenished crop. This is either during woodland or arboricultural management or coppicing or as part of a continuous programme of replanting with the new growth taking up CO2 from the atmosphere at the same time as it is released by combustion of the previous harvest. This maintains a closed carbon cycle with no net increase in atmospheric CO2 levels.
² Forest Research is the research agency for the Forestry Commission UK.