Heineken UK has said it plans to cut carbon emissions by 30,000 tonnes per annum with the opening of two biomass plants.

The brewer, which has changed its name from Scottish & Newcastle UK to reflect ownership by Netherlands-based Heineken, launched a biomass plant at its Royal Brewery in Manchester last Thursday (19 November).

Another plant has been installed at the John Smith's Brewery in Tadcaster, Yorkshire.

Heineken's investment in the plants is GBP35m (US$58.2m).

Construction on the biomass plants started in 2007 and they have been fully operational since October this year. The plants burn locally sourced wood chip to generate steam and electricity and also have the ability to burn spent grain.

They have each been designed to produce 37,000 MWh of electrical energy per year - enough to supply all of the site's power requirements. Any excess energy produced will be sold back to the National Grid, the brewer said.

The Manchester and Tadcaster biomass plants will together reduce carbon emissions by 30,000 tonnes per annum (15,000 tonnes per annum each), which is the equivalent to taking 21,650 cars off the road per year or saving the carbon emissions from 5,000 homes per year, said Heineken UK.

Group managing director Stefan Orlowski said: 'The launch of our biomass plant at Royal Brewery is a key milestone in Heineken UK's commitment to mitigating the impact of climate change."

Heineken last week appointed Alexis Nasard as its global group commerce director.

Based out of Heineken headquarters in Amsterdam, he will be responsible for portfolio management.