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Welsh hospitals install Austrian biomass boilers

Environment © photocase.com/Patzita

© photocase.com/Patzita

9. October 2007

Wood Energy, the UK’s leading supplier of biomass heating solutions, has installed the first biomass boilers in the UK to heat new-build hospitals. The boilers are produced by the Austrian Biomass specialist, Binder.

A 1.0 megawatt boiler produced by the Austrian company Binder has recently been installed in Rhondda Valley Hospital in South Wales and a 849kW Binder boiler has been installed into Ysbyty Alltwen Hospital in Porthmadog, North Wales.

The new £37 million, 108 bed hospital opens in April 2008 and the £12.8 million Porthmadog community hospital is set to open around the same time.

The NHS was interested in delivering a green solution; Wood Energy was able to demonstrate that the biomass Binder boiler could substantially reduce the hospitals’ carbon footprint. Both hospitals carried out option appraisals, which showed that the use of biomass boilers could also deliver significant savings in running costs. Biomass heating is accepted as a zero-carbon resource and offers impressive potential cost benefits for a 24/7 facility.

The 1.0 megawatt boiler (1,000 kilowatt) at Rhondda Valley Hospital is designed not only to heat the building, but also cool it. A process called “absorption chilling” means it operates rather like a fridge except the energy source is a boiler instead of an electric motor.


Marc Howell, Business Development Manager for Wood Energy in Wales comments, “Both Cwm Rhondda and Porthmadog hospitals clearly demonstrate that biomass boilers are finally on the radar for specifiers and their clients when it comes to large-scale projects. It is still early days but with the uncertainty surrounding gas import prices and the targets that organisations are being set to reduce carbon emissions, renewable solutions will continue to grow in popularity.”

Wood Energy’s work with the Rhondda Valley and Porthmadog hospital projects follows their high profile 360kW Binder boiler installation in the £41 million Welsh Assembly, which opened in 2006. 

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