The centre is powered by updated gas boilers, which replace oil-powered ones. Peter Wilkin named the two new boilers Arthur and Charles as a tribute to his great grandfather, the founder of the business.
“I want to thank you for your contribution to the development of this energy centre,” said Wilkin, speaking at the opening of the boiler house, which will provide power for the factory’s boiling pans.
In his youth, he said, the factory’s brick chimney was 36.6m high and was taken down in the 1980s when the first gas boilers were installed. The original boilers installed at the Tiptree site in 1911 were fuelled by coal.
“The construction of the new energy centre, behind the jam factory, has been designed to minimise the fuel we burn and reduce emissions while maximising the savings we can make by the introduction of solar panels, innovative LED lighting, heat recovery and ultra-efficient air compressors in the new centre,” said Wilkins & Sons joint managing director Chris Newenham. “This investment marks the start of the next exciting chapter of our business.”
Clarifying the technical specification of the new centre, Ian Clark, who had been responsible for overseeing the energy centre project, explained: “Our new Bosch boilers which are 97% efficient, should see carbon dioxide emissions reduce by up to 350 tonnes (t) each year.
“Three new energy-efficient air compressors will reduce the energy required for compressed air by over 20%, reducing our carbon dioxide emissions further by more than 30t every year. Heat recovery is also being evaluated to effectively utilise the heat generated from the compressed air process.
“The new energy centre is positioned to reclaim as much waste heat and steam condense as possible once the new production hall is constructed. It is not possible to quantify all of the potential savings at this stage. The solar panels on the energy centre roof will have an output of 60kW and an anticipated reduction in our carbon dioxide emissions of a further 30t every year.”
A wide range of products are made under the Tiptree brand at the Essex plant, the most famous being the company’s portfolio of preserves that are sold around the world.