An Taoiseach Visits Renewable Energy Initiatives Supported by Coillte
On Sunday 5th November last, An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar opened the Kilanerin-Ballyfad Community Centre and also visited the Clonroche biomass processing plant in County Wexford. Both enterprises are associated with renewable energy initiatives and Coillte.
An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar visited and officially opened the Kilanerin-Ballyfad Community Centre. In 2016 the centre received funding from Coillte and ESB’s Raheenleagh Wind Farm community fund to help complete this valuable community facility.
The community fund operated by Raheenelagh Wind Farm intends to make grants available to the community and voluntary organisations for projects which will benefit the wider community located within a certain distance of the wind farm. Over the past two years this community fund has invested over €255,000 in 22 projects within the vicinity of Raheenleagh. The wind farm is a joint venture between ESB and Coillte. The next round of funding will be launching in September, 2017. For more information and to find out how to apply, please visit: www.windfarmcommunityfunds.ie/raheenleagh
Pictured from left to right: Peter Lynch, Coillte, Marc McLoughlin, Coillte, An Taoiseach and Peter O’Hagan ESB
Later that day, An Taoiseach also visited the Clonroche biomass processing hub in County Wexford. This hub, operated by T&A Byrne Renewables, services a range of commercial and industrial scale biomass energy clients in the South East and uses predominately Coillte logs for its supply of biomass.
An Taoiseach, along with his colleagues, Paul Kehoe TD, Andrew Doyle TD and Michael D’Arcy TD saw first-hand the contribution a regional processing hub of this scale makes to the local economy as well as hearing the many benefits in terms of displacing imported fossil fuel, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mobilising Ireland’s forestry resources. The hub comprises of a large secure log storage yard and fuel storage sheds. Coillte logs are sourced and delivered on a pre-planned basis several months in advance. The logs are systematically stacked for open air drying down to the target moisture content.
One of the processing hub’s clients is Glaxosmithkline (GSK) and their use of woody biomass displaces 2.5 million litres of oil annually. GSK is a science-led global healthcare company that develops a range of medicines, vaccines and consumer healthcare products. For GSK, investing in a biomass plant supports their global carbon reduction objectives and a long term commitment to the Dungarvan site and the local employment it underpins. With Coillte as an exemplar energy supply partner for this project, GSK are further committed to protecting resources and safeguarding the environment.
Pictured from left to right: Ted Byrne, T&A Byrne Contractors, An Taoiseach and Paul Kehoe TD
Coillte is a commercial forestry company, owned by the State, that manages approximately 7% of the country’s land. Coillte operate three strong businesses from this land – their core forestry business, a wood panels manufacturing business MEDITE SMARTPLY and a land solutions business. Coillte export to over 30 countries worldwide and in the financial year 31 December 2016 generated EBITDA of €98.3 million. Coillte’s vision is to be the best forestry and land solutions company in Europe. To find out more visit www.coillte.ie