Balcas Ltd has recently started production of one of Europe’s fastest growing renewable energy sources called ‘brites’ – the bio fuel pellet. By converting the by-products generated by the company’s timber processing activities, namely sawdust and wood chippings, into wood fuel pellets Balcas Ltd has been able to create a greener energy source with significant exporting potential.
The project is the first of its kind in the UK in terms of scale and it is estimated that the company will generate enough energy to meet all of the company’s electricity needs and potentially meet the energy requirements of over 10,000 Northern Ireland homes. The new wood fuel pellet production facility will be capable of producing approximately 50,000 tonnes of fuel pellets annually.
The plant’s self-sufficient electricity supply will also minimise its environmental impact and it is hoped that through future expansion of the facility the plant will become an economic outlet for wood waste residues.
The new production facility based in Enniskillen will potentially create ten new jobs whilst safeguarding the existing 220 manufacturing workforce based at the site. Ernest Kidney, managing director of Balcas Ltd commented:
“This facility will introduce a new technology and fuel source to Northern Ireland, providing secure manufacturing employment opportunities in the local area and added security for the forestry sector.
“I also firmly believe that bio fuel pellets have the potential to deliver the energy needs of every home in Northern Ireland,” he continued.
The production of the bio fuel pellets or ‘brites’ is set to create a profitable new revenue stream for the company, ensuring its continued success and enhancing its ability to win new business in export markets.
Leslie Ross, managing director of Business International in Invest Northern Ireland commented:
“By supporting this renewable energy project we are helping a significant local employer to diversify into new and more profitable export markets, enhance their competitiveness and minimise their environmental impact.”