Stansted Airport's biomass boiler (photo: BAA)
Tue 7 Apr 2009 – London’s Stansted Airport says its new state of the art biomass boiler, powered by woodchip to heat the terminal building, has helped reduce annual gas consumption at the airport by nearly 40 percent. Part of the £50 million ($73.5m) terminal extension completed in 2008, the biomass technology was introduced to make the development carbon neutral and designed to support the gas-fired boilers that have heated the terminal since its opening in the early 1990s. However, its performance since last November has proved so efficient that it is now the airport’s primary boiler.
“To say we’re delighted with the performance is an understatement,” commented Andy Jefferson, the airport’s Head of Environment.
“We set out to ensure the recent terminal extension would be carbon neutral but performance data so far indicates those savings go much further, with results between November 2008 and March 2009 alone showing that gas consumption at Stansted was around 60% of the predicted forecasts for this period, and over 30% lower than the same period the previous year. And all this despite it being one of the coldest winters for over a decade.
“Whilst initiatives such as our asset replacement programme have contributed to these overall results, the introduction of biomass technology has by far been the largest contributor.
“But we will not become complacent and will continue our efforts to influence schemes aimed at reducing emission sources on the ground at Stansted, a current example of which is our participation in a working group to encourage single engine taxiing of aircraft, information on which we shall share in more detail later in the year.
“We’re proud to maintain our leading position as the largest UK airport to hold ISO 14001 accreditation for environmental management. We shall also publish our first Airport Carbon Footprint before this summer, which will outline how our footprint is comprised today, and help inform future decisions relating to emissions management at Stansted.”
The woodchip for the boiler, one of the largest biomass boilers in commercial use for heating in the UK at present, is sourced from sustainably managed woodlands across the east and south-east of England. Between November 2008 and March 2009, around 1,070 tonnes of wood was consumed. The boiler was supplied by Broag UK and manufactured by Austrian company Gilles.
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