The project, the largest of its kind, will see about 179 new biomass boilers installed across 21 farms in Norfolk, Suffolk and Lincolnshire. This will enable 40% of Bernard Matthews’ estate to benefit from the new renewable energy technology.

According to GIB, 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.

Bernard Matthews executive chairman David Joll said: “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”.

UK Green Investment Bank chief executive Shaun Kingsbury 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”.

GIB is the cornerstone investor of the Equitix managed fund, Energy Saving Investments (ESI), which is investing £12m in the project. This mobilises an additional £12.5m of additional private sector capital from the Equitix Energy Efficiency Fund (EEEF).

Leigh Stringer

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