CHP Plant at JG Pears

About the project

JG Pears is developing a proposal for a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant to provide steam and electricity to its animal rendering facility at Low Marnham, Newark, Nottinghamshire. It will also generate renewable energy, exporting its excess electrical power to the National Grid.

The facility will replace over 90 per cent of the fossil fuels currently used in the rendering process with meat and bone meal (MBM), a sustainable alternative that has a calorific value of the same magnitude as coal, saving over 150,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. MBM can also be sourced more locally than the fuels currently used, which in turn reduces carbon emissions from transport and transport miles.

Planning permission for the proposal was granted in 2014 .

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Artist impression


The importance of animal rendering

JG Pears animal rendering facility has a vital role in the agricultural and agri-food industries. It is one of just four rendering facilities in the UK, and it has become the most important facility for poultry by-product processing.

Prior to the 1970s most towns had a factory for processing animal by-products, however, during that decade, these factories were consolidated, reducing the number of operators in the UK to just 19.

Rendering is now a small industry with only four facilities remaining in the UK. But whilst the number of operators has dropped, the demand for the industry has not changed. Tallow, for instance, which is produced in the rendering process, is in high demand for its use in biofuels.

This Combined Heat and Power (CHP) facility will help keep the facility at Low Marnham competitive. The rendering process is energy intensive and, at present, the site uses liquefied natural gas to fuel the operation but this is economically unstable and environmentally unsustainable. The current site has no mains energy connections and the cost to bring mains gas on site would be over £10m. CHP facilities of this kind provide an ideal solution to ‘off grid’ industrial sites.

What has happened so far?

Bassetlaw District Council initially refused JG Pears planning permission for the CHP facility but the Department for Communities and Local Government overturned the discussion following a successful appeal. The detailed timeline is as follows:

December 2011:
JG Pears submits a planning application for a CHP facility to Bassetlaw District Council

April 2013:
Bassetlaw District Council refuse the planning application on the grounds of visual impact

July 2013:
JG Pears submit and appeal for the planning application on the grounds of supporting economic growth, increased business efficiency, support of rural industries and renewable energy supporting national interests

January 2014:
Public local enquiry takes place

October 2014:
JG Pears wins its appeal to overturn the planning application refusal. The Department for Communities and Local Government grant planning consent

Artist impression

What happens next?

The proposals are currently being finalised, however, greater certainty around the Government’s future energy policy is crucial. In particular, the Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme is an important factor which is currently under review by government.


The Technology

MBM has less odour than other biomass fuels and a high calorific value – that is, a lot of heating power – which makes it a highly suitable fuel for combustion to produce electricity. As a byproduct of animal rendering (the process through which animal products are converted into more useful materials), MBM is a plentiful, renewable biomass fuel.

There are three existing MBM combustion facilities in the UK, at Widnes, Rushden and Glanford.

Why this scheme is different

High levels of energy efficiency are possible from the combustion of MBM and the proposed plant and energy utilisation will qualify the electricity as renewable and “good quality CHP”, a key factor in renewable energy generation.

The facility will also contribute the UK’s energy needs by generating 7MWe. The plant will use 2MWe and the excess or around 5MWe will be exported to the National Grid.

Scheme Outline

The Proposal

The CHP plant will include a fuel reception area, fuel storage, boiler, turbine, auxiliary boiler, ash house and a control building. There is also the provision of new offices, a security lodge, a tank farm and rationalised access, additional parking provision and improved site boundary control. Planning permission has been obtained for vehicle trailer storage and a workshop.

Under the Integrated Pollution Prevention Control regulations, the CHP Plant will require an additional permit so that it complies with strict European air quality limits.

The fuel will be combusted to raise steam which will drive a high pressure steam turbine to produce electricity. Most of the low pressure steam will be used in a heat exchanger as part of the rendering process to pre-heat feed water and air for the boiler plant to improve plant efficiency


What is the Renewable Heat Incentive?

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is the UK government’s long-term financial support programme for renewable heat and is crucial for making developments and new technologies viable. In a non-domestic setting, participants in the scheme receive subsidiaries for generating and using renewable energy to heat their buildings.

Established to increase the use of heat generation from renewable sources, the RHI reduces dependence on fossil fuels. It reduces greenhouse gas emissions and helps to meet targets for mitigating the effects of climate change.

Replacing the Low Carbon Building Programme, the RHI was created under the Energy Act 2008 and the first RHI payments were made in 2011.

What is the challenge?

In the 2015 Autumn Statement, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the government’s intention to reform the RHI. The details of the reforms are currently unclear but the government has said the budget for the RHI has decreased by approximately £700m.

What needs to happen?

The subsidy is vital but uncertainty around it is unhelpful.

Urgent clarification is needed on whether the future of the RHI scheme is in question and whether existing CHP facilities will continue to receive the same level of subsidy, or any subsidy at all, following the reforms.

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Newark office

Low Marnham
NG23 6SP

Telephone – 01636 821218