Macphie: installs biomass plant at Scottish factory

Glenbervie / UK. (mp) United Kingdom´s leading independent food ingredients manufacturer Macphie has announced that it will be installing a multi-million pound biomass plant at its Glenbervie site, which will be operational by mid-2008. The 1,75 MW boiler will use 5.000 tonnes of locally sourced wood fuel per year to produce the base line steam demand for its Glenbervie factory. The company received a significant grant from the Scottish Executive´s 10,5 million GBP Scottish Biomass Support Scheme and it will be the first large industrial biomass process steam plant in Scotland.

The European Commission´s target is for twelve percent of energy consumption to be from renewable sources by 2010. Energy generation from biomass is expected to generate up to 74 percent of this target. The Macphie biomass plant will play a major part in delivering these targets.

Energy Minister Jim Mather: «Scotland has a huge biomass resource which has the potential to meet local and small-scale energy needs. The Biomass Support Scheme has enabled Macphie to turn this potential into reality. Not only will it meet its own energy needs, but biomass can help to combat climate change. We will continue to support renewable technologies to ensure a clean, green environment and capitalise on this emerging industry for a vibrant Scottish economy».

Macphie has «green» values at its core. This is reflected in the unique location of the firm´s head-quarters in Glenbervie, on the 700 year old, 2.000 acre family-owned estate. As a farmer, land-owner and industrialist, Macphie chief executive, Alastair Macphie, is proud of his family´s farming history and passionate about the environment and the need to act responsibly. The company employs an environmental manager and has an environmental policy with a range of environmental targets including energy and water usage, packaging reduction and reducing waste to landfill.

Macphie CEO Alastair Macphie: «Our business exists not only to manufacture food ingredients, but also to sustain the 700 year old, 2.000 acre, family-owned estate and surrounding community. The business currently uses 600 to 800kVA of electricity, and our expansion plans would expect this to grow to 1.500 to 2.000kVA by 2011. The biomass plant is the first phase of our renewable energy plans and it will cut our carbon emissions by approximately 2.000 tonnes annually. We are reviewing other forms of renewable energy and it makes economic and environmental sense for our long-term sustainability. We have a long-standing commitment to the local community and protecting the environment».

About: Macphie can trace its origins back to the 1920s, when Alister Macphie founded the company. He started out as a small, family bakery wholesaler business based in Glasgow with a staff of six people. The company was transformed into a major manufacturing force by the dynamic vision of Alister´s nephew, Stewart Macphie, when he took over the company in 1954.

With inspiration from the Schou Foundation in Denmark, a major development was the relocation of the business to its present head-quarters in Glenbervie, near Aberdeen in 1973. The Macphie family had been farming in the Glenbervie area for over 700 years and is famed for its pedigree Aberdeen Angus herd and prime malting barley.

It was here that Stewart Macphie started to manufacture bakery ingredients from a new, purpose-built factory. It was at this time that Macphie also began exporting its products to Europe, the Middle-East and the Caribbean. Macphie pioneered the use of Bag-in-Box technology and launched the first cream alternative – GlenDelight to the bakery market. In 1994, Macphie was awarded with the Queen´s Award for Export Achievement. Stewart´s son Alastair was appointed Managing Director in 1995 and took over as Chief Executive in 1997, after the death of his father.

In December 2000, Macphie acquired Oakwood Foods Limited in Tannochside near Glasgow. The frozen and chilled manufacturing plants are located at Tannochside. This is a key element in the company´s ambitious plans to accelerate its growth into the food service and food manufacturing sectors. Under the leadership of Alastair Macphie, Macphie has expanded its business to become the UK´s leading independent food ingredients manufacturer. Core businesses are the bakery, food service and food manufacturing sectors.