Sainsbury's is set to become the first in the world to be powered by a special new “eco” boiler.

The supermarket wants to install a biomass boiler at its new store in Cricketers Way, Westhoughton.

If Bolton Council gives consent for the boiler, it will be the first supermarket to have a heat and electricity generated by the new equipment.

It would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 205,000kg a year, equivalent to brewing 12 million cups of tea or watching 7.2 million episodes of Coronation Street.

David Penfold, head of sustainability and innovation at Sainsbury’s, said: “Respect for our environment is one of our core values and Sainsbury’s is committed to reducing energy use across all of our stores.

“We often trial new initiatives to help us achieve our goal of per cent reduction in carbon dioxide.

“The new boiler planned for Westhoughton highlights the type of technological advances being made, and we look forward to seeing it up and running early next year.”

The company has trialed the boilers in other stores across the country for heating but the new model will also allow it to generate electricity. New technology takes surplus heat from the store and turns it into electricity.

The system will run on wood pellets, which will be sourced locally, and would mean the store would not need gas.

If the boiler is approved, it will supersede plans for a wind turbines and solar panels at the store.

Alan Johnson, chairman of the Green Party in Bolton, said: “We support 100 per cent any moves to reduce carbon emissions. We will have to wait to see how it pans out.

“We do applaud Sainsbury’s for being concerned about the environment, however we are in favour of smaller, local shops.”

Work on the 27,000sq ft supermarket is under way on the former site of Westhoughton Cricket Club.

It is due to open in February next year.

The £7.5 million store will create 180 jobs, which are currently being sought from the Westhoughton area.