We were commissioned to produce pure plant oil (PPO) to power, heat and cool One Angel Square, the new, £100 million sustainable headquarters of The Co-operative in Manchester.

A contractor was needed to undertake the entire process for the production and supply of rapeseed oils to fuel the two 400 kW combined heat, power and cooling (tri-generation) units which generate heat and electricity simultaneously.

We helped them to make this switchover as smooth as possible by managing the entire tri-generation supply chain and setting it up from scratch, starting with the coordination of the Co-operative’s own farms to source and purchase the seed.

“Our new home will create a benchmark for every other UK business and showcase what can be achieved through a socially responsible approach to design and construction.”
(The Co-operative Group)

This was then transported to our bespoke pressing facilities in Nottinghamshire, the largest of its kind in the UK, to be weighed and checked for quality before being prepared for pressing. After removing any straw or dust, we pressed the seed in our multi-tank rotation system, which allows for continuous pressing. 

The oil was filtered down to 1 micron of impurity, pumped into our 120,000-litre holding tanks and then transported to Manchester. We now deliver one tanker of oil every week; equivalent to 1.5 million litres per year.

The Co-operative’s new headquarters is part of its Ethical Plan, in which it pledges to halve its carbon emissions by 2020. One Angel Square is 80 percent more energy efficient than its previous headquarters, and received the highest ever score for sustainability from BREEAM (95.16%).

The switch to sustainable biofuels is expected to reduce energy consumption by a further 50 per cent, saving the group more than £500,000 per year.

“It’s clear from the huge quantities involved with this contract that biofuels are increasingly offering a genuine alternative to oil, especially for large organisations looking to cut costs and grow their sustainable credentials.”
(Ben Guy MD, Phoenix)