One of the UK's largest biomass boilers for the hospitality industry has been installed at Matfen Hall hotel, golf and spa in the Tyne Valley, Northumberland.
All hot water and heating at the 53-bedroom hotel is now supplied via the £350,000 Ecoenergy boiler, which is fuelled by wood chips from the 500 acres of sustainably managed woodland on the surrounding Matfen Estate.
The timber is allowed to dry for at least one year - reducing the water content from 60% to 30% - before the logs are turned into wood chips.
It is expected that the boiler will use around 370 tonnes of wood chips and save 250 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.
Matfen Hall's owner, Sir Hugh Blackett, said that a smaller biomass boiler which had been installed last year to fuel his home and two cottages on the estate had shown to have considerable environmental and financial advantages.
"At home we have already saved the cost of over 25,000 litres of oil," he explained. "As we use such a huge amount of fuel for the hotel and have such a large volume of timber available from the estate, it really is the perfect solution.
"Here at Matfen Hall we are totally committed to reducing our carbon footprint and caring for the environment and how better to do this than to supply our own heating and hot water. To demonstrate to guests and visitors how the process works we have installed interpretation boards, and are more than happy to give guided tours."
Sir Hugh is seen here on the left with Jim Birse, commercial director of Ecoenergy. Matfen Hall is managed by Prima Hotels.
By Janet Harmer
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