New Liverpool wood pellet depot confirms investment in North West biomass operations
Forest Fuels’ opens new facility at Garston
The Forest Fuels’ Liverpool wood pellet depot at Garston is the next stage in the company’s plans to significantly increase its financial investment in the region.
The facility will hold a huge amount of wood pellet – nearly 10 times the amount that it held at its previous depot. This will greatly enhance availability of fuel – particularly for Forest Fuels long-term customers – from as far north as the Scottish borders to as far south as Staffordshire and Mid Wales.
The site also provides a boost for associated businesses in Liverpool, supporting jobs in Forest Fuels’ supply chain, which delivers sustainable, environmentally-friendly wood fuel across the UK from its local depots.
“This is another positive step forward for the sector in the North West of England,” said Peter Solly, managing director of Forest Fuels, “and great news for our long-term customers who want to be certain that they can get wood fuel when they need it at this crucial time of year. Our previous facility was much smaller, and this increased capacity means we are now able to offer improved continuity of supply.”
Advanced screening means less boiler breakdowns
The two-shed depot is dedicated solely to wood pellets and includes a conveyor-driven screening plant, resulting in high-quality clean fuel. Coupled with rigorous quality controls, the screening facility passes all of the wood pellets along a conveyor belt and removes dust and smaller broken pellets before being loaded onto the delivery vehicle.
“Dust and broken pellets are one of the most common causes of boiler breakdowns and inefficiencies,” added Grant Miller, “so this new system offers customers further assurance. It will mean less boiler failures, less worry, more boiler uptime and a much cleaner working environment.”
Grant Miller is Forest Fuels’ North West account manager and heads up operations at the new Liverpool depot.
Forest Fuels’ investment in the Liverpool facility is part of its long-term strategy to help biomass compete alongside fossil fuels, by ensuring the process of ordering fuel is simple, professional and fully automated. Now the UK’s largest biomass wood fuel supplier, the company has recently increased the number of depots it has around the UK to 44, and is continuing to consolidate the market and develop its operations through key acquisitions and organic growth.
Forest Fuels adds another new delivery driver to the team
Meet the latest addition to the ever-expanding Forest Fuels team
Gurinder Randhawa joins Forest Fuels customer delivery team from his last role driving for Wincanton. He’s well used to making multiple deliveries as he’s recently been working on Marks and Spencer’s home deliveries.
On his appointment Gurinder said, “I’m very pleased to be taking up the challenge of my new role. It’s a really interesting and challenging job because every customer’s fuel store arrangements are different. It’s my responsibility to ensure their fuel is replenished safely and efficiently”.
Based at Forest Fuels’ Telford depot, Gurinder was born and grew up in Wolverhampton, moving to make Telford his home 16 years ago when he studied at New College in the town.
After working in retail sales for a while he decided to train to drive commercial vehicles gaining his HGV class 2 licence.
Forest Fuels logistics manager Tony Vick said, “Gurinder’s a really cheerful character and as well as fitting straight into the team he’s proving to be very popular with our customers too”.
Forest Fuels sends video Christmas card and donation for Tree Aid
For years we’ve been sending Christmas cards out to customers and business associates but for 2016 we’re doing it differently. We’re making a donation to Tree Aid and have instead commissioned an animated video Christmas card to spread some seasonal cheer.
Forest Fuels managing director Peter Solly said, “Tree Aid is an excellent charity. They have, to date, helped more than half a million people across Africa to grow more than 10 million trees. They use trees to support African families work their way out of poverty. It’s helped people to earn an income to cover some of the basic needs that many of us take for granted like food, education and health as well as protecting the environment. The money Tree Aid raises provides seedlings and trees to grow food, training for people to earn a sustainable income and the tools that are needed to put their plans into action”.
“We thought that replacing Christmas cards with an e-mail was a bit flat so instead we’ve had a Christmas video card made. We think it’s a sweet way of saying Merry Christmas but have a look and see what you think for yourself. If you like it please share it with your friends and colleagues and spread some Christmas cheer!”
If you’d like to find out more about Tree Aid’s work please click here.
Management Accountant Opportunity
“This is an exceptional opportunity for the right candidate to join a very progressive and ambitious company at an exciting time in its evolution. The right person will be well versed and very comfortable handling and managing large and demanding workloads in a busy environment. The ability to engage with and motivate staff is essential so strong and effective communication skills are a must. In return we offer an excellent working environment, highly competitive package for the right person and genuine career development. If this sounds like the right next step for you then do please get in touch. We look forward to hearing from you.” Says Forest Fuels Graham McNicholl.
Position: Management Accountant
Location: Okehampton, Devon
Role: Full time
Salary: £35-45k depending on experience and qualification
Forest Fuels is a leading wood fuel supplier with over 2000 customers, operating from a Head office in Okehampton and a number of regional offices. It is now owned by AIM-listed business AMP PLC and this year has continued to show significant growth both organic as well as through acquisition.
Given this rapid growth, the business is looking for a technically proficient and enthusiastic Management Accountant to join their growing team:
Duties will include:
- Timely preparation of management accounts and key management information on a monthly basis
- Leading a team of 8 staff (with 2 direct reports) in managing the financial and management reporting process
- Reporting directly to the PLC Group Financial Controller
- Assisting the Group FC with compliance processes (VAT, external audit, tax)
- Opportunities to grow into a finance leader role through assistance in acquisition and other technical accounting areas as part of the Group’s future strategy
The successful candidate will:
- Be capable in producing detailed and high quality management information on a timely basis (by 10th day of the month)
- Have experience in a high-volume transaction and multi-location business (ideally in a large SME or a PLC)
- Be able to handle large volumes of data and demonstrate strong data manipulation and IT skills (pivot tables, lookups, macros)
- Have a strong background in industry (manufacturing / stock costing and management preferred)
- Have strong people management skills
- Qualified or Part qualified (ACA/ACCA/CIMA)
This is an outstanding opportunity to advance your career with a UK leader in the fuel and energy sectors. This is a key role and we are looking for someone who will thrive on the challenge of taking responsibility for running their own section of the business.
‘Renewable Heat Incentive reforms excellent news for business’
Welcome news for customers, the environment and the wider biomass industry
The managing director of the UK’s leading biomass wood fuel supplier has welcomed the results of the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) consultation, citing the government’s commitment to the scheme until 2021.
The consultation – which was released yesterday by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) – provides certainty that there will be ongoing financial support for the promotion and development of low carbon heating.
“This is excellent news for the environment, our customers and our industry as a whole,” said Peter Solly. “It’s confirmation that the government is committed to a long term strategy to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and increase the move to cleaner and sustainable wood-fuelled energy which is hugely positive. Biomass heat continues to be a vital part of the Renewable Heat Incentive and it’s great to have clarity of this commitment all the way through until 2021.
“This will help many businesses both large and small to make positive decisions about new installations safe in the knowledge that financial incentives are in place to encourage and support the right schemes for them that are also kinder to the environment.”
The headline points from the consultation are:
Biomass heat remains a vital component in the shift to low carbon heating
Biomass heating support will be at the same level across all sizes of projects. This is a rate of 2.91p per kWh (Tier 1) and 2.05p per kWh (Tier 2). The tiering thresholds have been changed to significantly increase the amount of heat available under tier 1 (increased from 15% to 35%).
Peter Solly added: “These new RHI rates show a headline reduction for small and medium-sized projects and increased support for larger projects, however, when you look into the detail for the small and medium-sized projects the changes mean that biomass heat is still going to be viable across the full range of size of projects from schools and hotels through to process steam and district heating networks, particularly those with higher heat use.
“The move to increase the tiering levels and decrease the gap between tier 1 and tier 2 payments is also very encouraging because it will help ensure that projects that are genuine users of sustainable heat will still have an attractive return on investment. As a natural consequence it will help ensure that biomass boilers are correctly sized for projects and optimise the combination of capital investment, running cost savings and carbon savings.
“Another outcome is that we’re likely to see biomass boilers being sized to deliver base load heating rather than peak load. The uptake of biomass heating at larger and industrial scale projects is being actively supported which brings many benefits for businesses and communities right across the UK.
“Forest Fuels is already extremely successful in securing long-term energy supply contracts and commercial boiler buy-backs as they deliver worry-free, risk-free sustainable heat for our customers. Now that RHI rates are confirmed and secured it makes these products even more attractive especially for larger heat-loads.”
The full RHI consultation document is available here.