Truro-based ground source heat pump manufacturer, Kensa Heat Pumps, have commenced construction of a new 900m2 manufacturing and office facility on its current site at the former Mount Wellington Mine. Coinciding with its 20th year anniversary, the new premises will see Kensa produce 30,000 ground source heat pumps every year, providing carbon savings equivalent to taking 60,000 cars off the road; that’s over one third of the cars in Cornwall.
The privately-funded expansion will make Kensa the largest low carbon business in Cornwall, providing at capacity 150 jobs. With an existing market share of near 50%, Kensa forecasts annual growth of around 50% as Government introduces regulations to outlaw the use of high carbon fossil fuels, particularly in new build housing in just six years time; ground source heat pumps offer lower cost heat than mains gas, and are the lowest carbon heating technology.
Like Kensa’s current factory, the new premises will have underfloor heating and hot water fed by a ground source heat pump harnessing heat from water from the flooded mine workings below.
James Standley, Managing Director of Kensa Heat Pumps, says:
“Kensa’s new manufacturing facility provides us with the capability to build on what we started here in Cornwall 20 years ago, and make a huge impact on the UK’s transition to a low carbon economy. Whilst we are the UK’s number one ground source heat pump supplier for the seventh consecutive year, we remain proudly Cornish, with a strong local workforce and infrastructure. As pioneers for renewables back in 1999, it is testament to the Kensa Group’s quality, service, and expertise, that we will now be the largest, privately funded, renewable business in the County.”
Sarah Newton, MP for Truro and Falmouth, comments:
“It has been a pleasure to watch Kensa grow over the past decade. I am delighted that they continue to create well-paid jobs in Cornwall. Ground source heat pumps will play an increasingly significant role in meeting the Government’s 2030 net zero carbon target.”
The proposed plans for the expansion received solid support from the local community, says Kevin Furnish, Chairman of Gwennap Parish Council:
“Kensa is one of the largest employers in Gwennap and we are very pleased that the innovation we have hitherto seen will continue and grow. We are also very happy that Kensa will soon be starting apprentice training which will grow local skills in this vital industry. Looking forward, we hope to support a community level energy project between Kensa and the Parish.”
Local architectural firm, D3 Architects, helped visualise Kensa’s ambitions, with a sympathetic design blending with the former mining site’s renovated buildings. Simon Longworth-Riggs, Owner of D3 Architects, comments:
“Being environmentally conscious architects it is great to be helping a successful Cornish firm to grow; especially as it will help so many save energy. This is one of those rare projects that is both good for our client and the planet.”
A finance package from HSBC has been provided for the new premises, as Mark Self, HSBC UK’s Business Banking Area Director for Cornwall, Devon and Somerset, comments:
“We’re committed to helping sustainability businesses thrive, so it’s been fantastic to see Kensa expand its facilities to react to increasing demand for more eco-friendly heating systems. This is particularly pertinent as the UK commits to becoming carbon neutral by 2050. We’re looking forward to seeing the new factory take shape as the business continues to grow and invest in the local area.”
Kensa’s new heat pump facilities are due for completion in January 2020.