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Manufacturer goes for green energy

Date 2 May 2007

Excavator manufacturer Komatsu UK is trying to help tackle the region's climate change issues by looking at the feasibility of a wind turbine at its Birtley plant. The wind turbine is estimated to save the production of 500 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

This month Komatsu UK will submit an application with Gateshead Council to erect a temporary wind monitoring mast, which would ensure the wind resource assumptions made so far are accurate. If approved, the 40 metre test mast would be installed in the centre of Komatsu UK's working site and would remain in place for 12 months, to give accurate year round measurement of site wind speed.

This year, Gateshead Council pledged to reduce its carbon footprint and if planning permission for the wind turbine is granted, Komatsu UK will be the first manufacturing site in the borough offsetting its impact on the environment in this way.

Graham Henderson, manufacturing director at Komatsu UK, said: “If the project is given the green light, it will be a positive move towards supporting the local environment. As Gateshead Council is an area where major wind farms are not viable, they must rely on contributions from companies like Komatsu UK to help reach its renewable energy targets. “A full public consultation process would be carried out at the end of the test mast’s monitoring period, enabling all interested parties to learn full details of the proposed project.”

Komatsu UK will also incorporate the project into its existing educational programme hoping to ensure that school and college groups benefit from onsite visits.

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