Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Lanchester Group invests £20m in new self-powered bottling facility

Published:  06 May, 2022

Development of the UK’s newest wine bottling facility is well underway in County Durham, constructed with sustainability front of mind.

A restless pioneer of renewable energy, and an early signatory to the Harpers Sustainability Charter, the Lanchester Group is investing in a state-of-the-art, self-powered home for its Greencroft Bottling Company.

In plans revealed exclusively to Harpers, the new £20million building will be more than 22,000 square metres (around 240,000 square feet, equivalent to about four football pitches) and will more than double the capacity at Greencroft Bottling to 400million litres per year.

When complete, Greencroft Two could accommodate up to 10 bottling lines and seven ancillary lines for bag-in-box, cans, pouches, key kegs and other new types of sustainable packaging.

The first of Greencroft Two’s new lines will be operational by Spring 2023 – a €3million counter-pressure line with sparkling capabilities. The company will then gradually bring the remaining existing lines over from the current Greencroft Bottling without disruption to production.

The building will be the first in the UK to use Quadcore insulation PowerPanels fitted on the roof. Developed by Kingspan, the PowerPanels have a U-Value of 0.12 W/m2K, as does the insulation fitted on the walls, making Greencroft Two one of the most advanced thermally efficient buildings in the market.

The PowerPanels on the roof will have 2 megawatts of solar which will create around 1.7m kilowatt-hours of electricity per year – the solar panels are more efficient at cooler temperatures so County Durham’s bright and sunny, yet rather chilly, weather is perfect for generating clean, renewable power.

“We’re spending more than we might otherwise on a new building, investing an additional £3million in sustainable practices. But we’ll soon get that extra investment back through the energy savings, so what’s good for the planet is good for the business, too,” said Lanchester GMD Tony Cleary.

“We’ve even adjusted the gradient of the roof to make the most of the sun. On the north side, if we’d used the normal gradient, we would have had 400-kilowatt hours, but by lowering it, we’ll get 700-kilowatt hours. The existing wind turbines will also provide backup power, and we will, at a later date, be installing batteries to store the power we generate – the challenge with renewable energy is that it’s not always used when it’s produced.”

When Greencroft Two is complete, it is estimated the business will generate over 7 million kilowatt-hours per year of clean, renewable energy.

“We estimate we have spent about £10million on renewables since we started in 2011, with wind turbines, solar panels and heat pump technology. This building will be around £15million to complete, and we estimate we have spent around £3million more than it would otherwise have cost to add the sustainability features.

“We’re a family business, so if we can do it, then the big companies certainly can; being carbon neutral is just the beginning."