Arbroath company Bairds Malt has submitted an application to Angus Council to develop a medium-sized single turbine at their plant on Elliot Industrial Estate, which will help secure the future of the facility and safeguard local jobs.
The application, which was submitted to Angus Council on 19th December, would, if consented, help minimise the company’s high energy costs and generate renewable energy on-site. Energy consumption at the plant costs Bairds Malt ~£2.5million per annum in energy bills and the turbine would reduce the electricity consumption from the National Grid by a third; a significant saving for the Arbroath facility.
Bairds Malt is working with Kilmac Construction on the development. Kilmac is a Tayside-based company who has worked with Bairds Malt for a number of years and has to date undertaken over 100 projects in Angus.
The proposed single turbine would be situated on the south-west corner of their site, with a height of 55m to its hub and 77m to tip, and will be partially screened by the existing buildings. Noise monitoring indicates that there would be no additional noise pollution from the turbine due to the current noise created from the maltings, which runs its operation 24/7. The installed capacity of the turbine would be 900kW, which would produce in the region of 2.3GWh per year, the equivalent of the annual energy usage of around 500 homes.
Bairds Malt has 57 Angus employees and has supply contracts with over 1,000 farms, with 230 of them spread throughout Angus. It has operated in Arbroath since 1970, with a new facility opening in 2010, and is now capable of producing over 300 tonnes of malt every 48 hours, which are used for the distilling and export markets. It is the most modern facility of its kind in Scotland and incorporates the latest innovations in malting technology.
Bairds Malt first announced the plans for a medium-sized single turbine in Summer 2013 and invited local residents to two Information Days at the plant to answer any questions and show residents in more detail the plans. At the time, around 70 local residents visited the company, with a marquee erected at the entrance to the plant and information boards outlining the history of Bairds Malt and their plans to generate on-site renewable energy.
Dr Richard Broadbent, Commercial & Technical Director, said:
“Bairds Malt has operated in Arbroath since 1970 and we are proud to be based here. Angus has been very good to us as a company, especially as it is home to some of the finest quality cereal farms in the UK. We have invested in the Bairds Malt facility over the years, with the plant upgraded in 1980 and again in 2010 - making it one of the most modern malting plants in Scotland.
“The plant operates 24/7 and the high energy demands of the plant means that we must look at ways to reduce our energy costs. We have been working closely with our partners, Kilmac Construction, over the last 18 months to ensure we develop a scheme for the Plant that is viable so we are delighted to have now submitted the planning application for our single turbine. The savings the turbine could bring would help us secure the future of the facility and safeguard the local jobs that the facility provides.
Local resident Neil Chapman, who is the Plant Manager, said: “I’ve worked at Bairds Malt for 21 years and, as well as the income it provides for me and my family, the Plant brings a lot of investment to our community. Anything that guarantees the long-term future of the Plant and local jobs should be supported and that’s why I’d like to see the Bairds Malt turbine get given the go ahead.”