Tullis Russell has won the Renewing Scotland category at the 13th Scottish Green Energy Awards, which recognise the best in renewable energy talent, projects and innovation across Scotland.
The employee-owned premium paper and board producer received the award for its part in a multi-million pound project with RWE Innogy UK to replace the coal and gas-fired power station at its base in Markinch with a new-state-of-the-art Biomass CHP facility.
The new Biomass CHP at Tullis Russell has been built, and will be owned and operated by RWE Innogy UK. It provides all of Tullis Russell's electricity and steam requirements, and is also feeding power into the local grid, making a major contribution to Scotland's renewable energy targets. The largest of its type in the UK, the new plant uses a combination of end-of-life recovered wood as its main fuel source topped up with virgin wood and provides the Fife-based business with an environmentally friendly source of renewable energy. The CHP technology used in the plant will result in a reduction in fossil-fuel CO2 emissions by an estimated 250,000t per annum, reducing the company's carbon emissions by more than 70%.
Tullis Russell was one of three Fife businesses to enjoy success at the ceremony, with ScotAsh and Mines Rescue Service also picking up awards.
"Sustainability sits at the heart of our business," said Niall MacDonald, managing director at Tullis Russell's Markinch mill. "We are employee-owned and have been an important part of the community for over 205 years. The CHP plant offers the ideal platform to take the business forward by providing us with a secure and sustainable energy source, and it's fitting that the plant will deliver strong environmental benefits to Fife and Scotland as a whole in the years to come."
Ian Calvert, head of Biomass at RWE Innogy UK, said: "RWE Innogy UK has invested over £200 million in the construction of the Markinch Biomass CHP plant. More than 600 temporary jobs were created during the construction phase of the project. Thirty seven permanent jobs have been established to maintain the running of the plant and the offsite fuel processing facility in Cardenden. By generating efficient, sustainable steam and power for Tullis Russell, the biomass CHP plant is helping to secure the 500 jobs at the Glenrothes operation. The plant has and will continue to deliver on many levels in the years to come."
Councillor John Wincott, Fife Council's sustainability champion, said "This is fantastic news for Fife and I'd like to congratulate Tullis Russell on their awards success. This is another example of Fife leading the way in sustainable economic development and renewable energy generation and strengthens our reputation as a centre for excellence for renewable energy."