HAI Chief Executive Annemarie Harte visited Andy Maher, Managing Director of Stafford Fuels, on the same week that he officially opened a new €3 million smokeless fuel manufacturing facility at their portside location at Raheen in New Ross, Co Wexford, from which they distribute fuel throughout Ireland.
After the tough decade our industry has endured, the opening of a major new facility is rightly cause for celebration. This is even more the case when the facility enables the production of an innovative new product that will help drive fuel sales. The new Stafford Fuels plant will produce low-smoke, high-heat solid fuels for domestic heating customers. Construction of the facility began in early 2016 and the facility had its official opening in September.
Securing and creating jobs
The new facility has created six new permanent jobs as well as securing the 35 existing jobs on site and supports a further 20 jobs in transport and maintenance.
Stafford Fuels operates a coal importation and wholesale coal-bagging and distribution facility on its 20-acre site and the new operation is located within the existing campus at Raheen. Stafford Fuels Ltd is part of the Stafford Group, a privately-owned Irish group of companies. The Group also comprises Lifestyle Sports and Campus Oil and has a total employment of around 850 people.
The new facility will initially produce 50,000 tonnes of smokeless fuels each year and has the capacity to double this output to over 100,000 tonnes each year. Stafford Fuels is also developing a new fuel at the plant that combines biomass with traditional fuel which reduces greenhouse gas and air emissions. The high-specification plant will produce smokeless ovoids, a high heat smokeless fuel, and will use new manufacturing technology to also develop environmentally-friendly fuel containing biomass.
Move towards smokeless fuels
Andy commented that the new Ecodesign Directive (see panel, Ecodesign Directive) will mean stoves have to reach certain specific standards by 2022; and the move towards smokeless fuels with 75% less emissions, together with the movement to reduce carbon footprints, means that with this new facility Stafford Fuels are well-prepared.
The Stafford Group originated from the business of JJ Stafford, a native of Wexford, who
operated shipping and fuels businesses in the South East in the late 19th century. Having operated in the region for over 125 years, the company has strong local connections from generations of business operations and providing employment in counties including Wexford, Kilkenny and Waterford.
There is world-wide demand for more efficient products to reduce energy and resource consumption. The EU legislation on ecodesign and energy labelling is a tool for improving the energy efficiency of products. It aims to help eliminate the least energy efficient products from the market, significantly contributing to the EU’s 2020 energy-efficiency objective. It also supports industrial competitiveness and innovation by promoting better environmental performance of products throughout the internal market. The Ecodesign Directive provides consistent EU-wide rules for improving the environmental performance of products, such as household appliances, information and communication technologies and engineering products. The Directive sets out minimum mandatory requirements for the energy efficiency of these products. This is intended to help prevent creation of barriers to trade and improve product quality and environmental protection. The Energy Labelling Directive may complement those Ecodesign requirements with mandatory labelling requirements. The Ecodesign Directive also establishes a consultation forum to consult stakeholders on the implementation of the Directive. The list of members includes representatives from EU countries, industry and civil society. The group is open to observers from candidate and EFTA countries, and from organisations that have a legitimate interest in the discussion. For more information visit http://ec.europa.eu/growth/ industry/sustainability/ecodesign_en
If you have a story to tell as a supplier or manufacturer in the Irish market, please contact Annemarie on 01 298 0969 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.