Bank helps bring biomass heating to poultry sheds

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The Yorkshire poultry sector was given a major green boost this week, with the announcement of a £6 million investment by Clydesdale Bank.

The funding, a collaborative effort between the bank’s renewable and agricultural divisions, has been used by Biomass Group Ltd to acquire Richard Maxwell Ltd and supply poultry sheds with renewable heat.

Owning and operating 12MW of biomass boilers, Biomass Group Limited delivers sustainable heat at a level of 24Gwh per annum saving in excess of 6,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

For the production of chicken and turkeys, poultry sheds need to count on a reliable heat source. Biomass boilers remain key to greening farming operations, as they offer an opportunity to replace fossil fuel heating systems with a sustainable alternative in the form of either wood chip or pellet.

Virgin Money (owner of Clydesdale Bank) has a clear focus in supporting both businesses and individuals in their efforts to reduce greenhouse gases. Speaking about the sector and what this acquisition means for the future of the industry, head of renewable energy at Virgin Money, Keith Wilson (pictured below) commented on the significance of delivering this financial support:

“As an entrepreneurial organisation that is committed to Net Zero, we believe we have an important role to play in supporting businesses seeking to transition to more sustainable forms of energy. Lending in support of on-site renewable heat generation plays well to our strengths and is rapidly becoming a niche for our team here at Virgin Money, with this transaction being our third, in as many years”.

Commenting on the investment, Brian Richardson, Head of Agriculture at Virgin Money said:

“This is a great example of how the Bank has been able to bring together its specialist knowledge from two distinct divisions to drive the sustainability agenda forward. Being able to bring our in-depth knowledge of the poultry sector and of future markets meant we were able to advise on the sustainability of this long-term project. This acquisition will make a real difference on the ground by providing renewable heat generation to large scale poultry producers, who are aware of the impact of fossil fuels to their climate emissions. This is great for the sector, indicating the direction of travel and what needs to be done to prepare for the future.

“It’s clear that now, and into the future, food production is going to be all about green credentials. It will continue to rise in importance for consumers and helping industry leaders deliver on the Net Zero ambition is a core goal of our financing strategy.”

More and more supermarkets and restaurants are seeking out suppliers who are taking steps to implement a Net Zero agenda, and companies that are bringing renewable energy production to their operations are signalling their clear commitment to move away from fossil fuel energy.

Trevor Coultan, Managing Director of Biomass Group Limited commented:

“We are keen to lead a transition towards sustainability across the sector, and are very happy with the funding facilitated by Clydesdale Bank introduced to us by Lennox Partners. We are a specialist biomass boiler company providing renewable energy to Agri businesses, and we are growing in confidence that our alternative fuels and infrastructure will put the pressure on eradicating dirty energy. We are dedicated to green solutions and are thrilled to be working with partners to bring down carbon emissions on the farm.”

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