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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 August 2006, 16:20 GMT 17:20 UK
Tesco in ship to store transfer
The ship loads up at Grangemouth
The chain said it wants to reduce congestion and pollution
A supermarket giant said it had cut pollution by using a ship to transport building materials to its new 'green' store in the north of Scotland.

Tesco used the ship to transport 1,500 tonnes of materials from Grangemouth to the site of its latest venture in Wick.

The 50,000 sq ft store uses a range of green technologies such as solar and wind power.

Barr Construction, Tesco's builder, said the vessel would reduce vehicle emissions and ease road congestion.

The construction firm will design and build Tesco's first eco store, which will have a timber rather than steel structure and will be opened later this year.

Not only will it help to cut down on the number of man hours, it will reduce emissions and ease congestion on the roads
Barclay Chalmers
Barr Construction

Rather than use 75 trucks to shift the floor tiles, roofing and timber the firm opted to use one ship which is due to arrive in Wick on Thursday.

Barclay Chalmers, Barr Construction's managing director, said: "This is the first time that we've used a ship to transport goods between two Scottish mainland sites and apart from being a slightly unorthodox way of doing so there are a number of obvious benefits associated with it.

"Not only will it help to cut down on the number of man hours, it will reduce emissions and ease congestion on the roads.

"When we first started work on the new eco store, Tesco asked that we look at how we would transport any materials to and from Wick.

"The supermarket chain was keen that everything associated with the building of its first eco store had a 'green' aspect to it."

Energy efficient

Tesco said it recently unveiled a new strategy which includes cutting stores' energy usage and reducing deliveries to the chain's Express convenience stores, to help cut congestion.

Stuart Hay, head of policy at Friends of the Earth, said that the transfer of materials by water in a large ship could be energy efficent.

He told the BBC Scotland news website: "In terms of energy saving, it does appear to make sense. On the continent, they move a lot of goods and construction materials on barges on rivers such as the Rhine.

"We still have mixed views about the whole idea of Tesco being a green company when you consider the wider picture."

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