The new combined heat and power plant at Volac’s Felinfach dairy manufacturing site in west Wales was officially opened by the Prince of Wales last week.

Felinfach is where Volac produces its calf and lamb milk replacer products, with a major expansion in 2008 enabling the company to also manufacture whey protein and lactose ingredients for a range of markets.

The new biomass plant is capable of producing 20 megawatts of energy, sufficient to power 20,000 homes, although all the energy generated will be used by the dairy plant. It is fuelled by wood sourced from sustainably managed forests within a 55 mile radius of the site – either as round wood chipped on site; saw mill residue from local saw mills; or as brash, the trimmings from harvested trees.

“We were delighted to welcome HRH Prince of Wales and all our guests to Felinfach,” states Volac chief executive James Neville. “Our major investment of £38 million in the plant enables Volac to generate sustainable energy to meet the growing needs of the business at Felinfach. It has enabled us to reduce carbon emissions from our Felinfach operations and reduce the carbon footprint of our products. Through this investment we have been able to employ an additional five staff from the local community.”