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Hayes Presents Wood Fuel Quality Assurance Scheme Certificates at the National Ploughing Championships

At the Ploughing Championships at Ratheniska, Co Laois today, Minister of State for Forestry, Tom Hayes TD,   presented certificates to a number of companies newly certified under the Wood Fuel Quality Assurance Scheme, which is run by the Irish Bioenergy Association – IrBEA.  

Speaking at the presentation the Minister said: “The use of forest-based fuels for energy production and heat continues to grow - and now accounts for over one million cubic metres annually – over one third of the total wood harvest. We estimate that in 2012 the firewood market alone was worth over €33 million, with a lot of the supply now coming from the first thinning of farmer-owned forest plantations.”

He added that “It is important that wood fuels that come on the market are fit for purpose and are well prepared and presented. The Wood Fuel Quality Assurance initiative is geared to support companies to meet these requirements, which is why my Department continues to provide grant aid to support its work.”

Ms Pat Murphy, Chair of the WFQA said: “Over the past year we have worked hard to increase the scheme’s membership and its public profile. I am particularly glad that the largest wood pellet manufacturer on the island, Balcas Limited, has now been certified to join the scheme, and will be supplying their fuel with the WFQA logo. We are also in the process of certifying some of the firewood suppliers to the large multiples. A number of other companies are in the membership pipeline. Our plan is to make our bright flame logo something that consumers will increasingly look to when buying pellets, woodchip or firewood. “

Concluding the Minister said: “I want to congratulate the companies who have been successful in achieving certification under the WFQA banner and wish them and the existing members of scheme every success in growing the wood fuel sector into the future.”   

 

Date Released: 26 September 2013