Supply GSK Locally
GlaxoSmithKline are keen to promote a green image. Because of this they want to ensure any biomass used is sourced locally where possible. This supply chain would ideally be within Scotland or the UK, with a portion of the supply being imported from Europe if need be. For this reason the feasibility of a supply chain within Scotland was investigated.
GSK Land Requirements
Using the Land Use Workbook discussed on Forestry and SRC, it was possible to calculate how much land area GSK Irvine would need to have dedicated to their biomass supply. This was calculated for both forestry and SRC willow.
These calculations are made as part of a "worst case scenario". The plant would have to be operating at maximum capacity, requiring an input of 2040MWh each day. 20% of the input would be supplied from waste products from nearby wood industries.
The rotation period of willow was 3 years and forestry 10 years. Other values such as the yield per km2 and energy intensity per tonne were taken from various sources such as the Biomass Energy Centre and DECC BEAC Tool. The sources for the specific values used are available in the Land Use Workbook.
The results are displayed in this table below:
Geographical Information Systems were used to create a map of the land areas required for one years supply of willow. The east coast of Scotland was selected as a suitable area and farmland was used to ensure that life cycle emission were kept as low as possible.
The map is displayed below:
Is a Local Biomass Supply Feasible?
If existing forestry was used as the fuel supply, 22% of the total area of Scotland's forests would be dedicated to supplying GSK.
2% of the total area would be burnt per year.
This is in contrast to using willow grown on farmland to ensure a low life cycle CO2 impact. The total area of Scotland's farmland that would need to be dedicated to suppling GSK would be approximately 1%.