James Cropper wins £3m government grant for SRF plant

A paper and advanced materials company, James Cropper, has been awarded a £3.15m Regional Growth Fund (RGF) to develop a steam raising plant in order to reduce its environmental impact.

The company says the new plant will significantly reduce its energy costs, CO2 emissions, and rising environmental taxes.

The fund will support the £7m project in Burnside, Cumbria and the company believes its delivery could have wide ranging benefits for other energy intensive industries seeking a transition away from fossil fuels.

Solid recovered fuel (SRF), which is approximately 50% biomass in content, is currently underutilised owing to lack of appropriate proven technology.

The plant will consume a mixture of SRF produced by waste company Shanks from Cumbrian municipal waste, and the company’s own paper-making effluent residues.

The company has been trying to carry out the project since 2005 but, despite gaining planning permission in 2009, it says the obstacle of high costs and a lack of suitable technology and suppliers delayed the plans.

James Cropper chairman Mark Cropper said:

“In the meantime, the need for a plant – which will supplement our gas-fired combined heat and power (CHP) plant, itself a pioneering investment in the 1980s – has only grown more pressing.

“Energy costs are rising and the global competitiveness of our business and other British energy intensive manufacturers is being further impaired by the new UK carbon taxation policies.

“Delay and relief of such tax policies are vital to maintain competitive costs; however the transition to new forms of energy is more crucial than ever, so the (RGF) support could not be more useful.”

Conor McGlone

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