Annual Report 2017

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Bord na Móna Fuels is the market leader in the Irish residential solid fuel category. This is a sizable market with almost half of Irish homes purchasing solid fuel.

Our portfolio is comprised of a wide range of quality products, including the iconic peat briquette, bituminous and smokeless coal, wood and a wide range of convenient packaged products.

Employee insight.

Jim enjoyed being part of a process that addressed and resolved various challenges.

I am a Chartered Mechanical Engineer and began working in Bord na Móna in 1978 starting as an apprentice in Derrinlough. I have held various roles within the company including design draftsman, technician, project engineer, project manager and my current role as design team leader. I have spent the last three years leading a multi-disciplinary and cross-functional team in the development of a smokeless coal facility at Foynes in Co. Limerick. The team was tasked with establishing the design of the manufacturing facility including securing planning permission for the facility which was granted in July 2016 by An Bord Pleanála.

I have enjoyed working on this project with colleagues from Fuels Operations and Central Engineering Services, and being part of the process which addressed and resolved various challenges in the development of the planning application to ensure compliance with current legislation and engineering standards.

The team also worked closely with outside consultants and specialist suppliers who brought a number of new ideas to the project. With construction due to begin in 2017 we have put together a very robust solution that will result in a facility capable of producing a range of top quality products for consumers.

The expertise and know-how within Bord na Móna are second to none as we continue to build on our heritage of engineering excellence which has been part of the organisation since its foundation.

Jim Fitzgerald
Design Team Leader

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FY17 at a glance

The solid fuel market continued to be challenged by low home heating oil prices, carbon tax, mild weather and grey market trading which has adversely affected solid fuel sales volumes. The business continued its transformation plan further reducing its cost base.

The business made significant progress on its plans for the construction of a smokeless coal facility at Foynes with planning permission secured. Construction is due to commence in Autumn 2017 and the plant will be in production the following year.

Marketing campaign ‘Warmer Moments’ continued in FY17. The campaign strengthens our brand leadership position and research has shown that it is outperforming the market. We also launched the Hearth Sessions: a series of intimate gigs celebrating pubs with real fires throughout Ireland.

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The solid fuel market continues to face a significant challenge from a number of sources including legislation, increased regulation and competitive pressures. This has led to difficult decisions including cessation of operations in the Littleton briquette factory from April 2018.

The anticipated nationwide ban on bituminous coal will further challenge the market. Bord na Móna is fully supportive of appropriate regulation but stresses the need for enforcement measures to be consistently applied.

We continue to invest in the development of innovative renewable products to meet future market requirements. Significant progress has been made on the development of a new biomass briquette product. The project will now enter a design and planning phase.