Managing Director’s Review

Business Review - Feedstock

The Feedstock business supplies peat and biomass materials for the generation of electricity in Bord na Móna’s Edenderry power station, and two ESB power stations at West Offaly Power and Lough Ree Power. The business also supplies peat for briquette manufacturing, growing media and peat filtration for clean air and water products to Bord na Móna’s Retail and Environmental businesses.



Weather Impact on Peat Harvest
Fiscal Year 2012 was a particularly challenging year for the peat harvest. Although 95% of target was achieved, changing weather patterns had an impact on peat harvesting operations. Frequent short spells of heavy rainfall punctuated the dry periods during the harvesting season. This posed a particular challenge to the planning and management of peat harvesting operations and peat quality.

Last year’s dry Spring and high winds at the start of production in early May led to a serious incidence of bog fires, which spread to Bord na Móna peatlands. These resulted in significant stock damage and production operations were restricted in order to reduce the risk of further outbreaks of fire.

Biomass Supply Chain/Peat Dilution
Another significant challenge was the establishment of a supply chain of biomass products that would fulfil the peat dilution and co-firing strategy, and support Bord na Móna’s ‘New Contract with Nature’.

Transformational Change
The business is facing specific challenges as the demand for peat for power generation declines. These challenges include the expiry of peat fuel supply agreements, the Public Service Obligation peat support mechanism and the priority running status of the three peat-fired power stations. These have resulted in the need for transformational change to maintain a sustainable business. An increased requirement for road transport of peat and the necessity for increased peat dilution continue to pose additional challenges to the business.


Peat Harvest
Despite the adverse weather conditions, 95% of target was achieved for the peat harvest, though not uniformly across all areas with certain peatlands in the west of the midlands achieving significantly less.

Biomass Delivery
Biomass for co-firing with peat in the Edenderry power station was sourced mainly from the forestry and sawmills sectors. This was augmented by bio-energy crops and imported materials. Supply of biomass amounted to 156,000 energy tonnes, representing a co-firing rate of 15.1%.

Risk Mitigation
Major construction work on flood defence embankments along the Shannon river catchment was undertaken to protect peat stocks and customer supply capability.

Transformational Change Agenda
A programme of transformational business change is underway to meet the specific challenges facing the business. This is supported by ongoing extensive consultation and engagement with employees. The focus is to secure a successful, efficient and sustainable future business model.


Ongoing Competitiveness
The business continues its commitment to transformational change. This will deliver feedstock materials that meet market and customer demand at competitive prices, in an increasingly challenging business environment.

Customer Delivery
The business is committed to the delivery of sustainable product development, including biomass for power stations and peat diluent feedstock for heating and growing media product ranges. Sustainability/Environmental

The business endeavours to minimise the environmental impact of its operations by its continued compliance with environmental licence conditions. Energy usage will be reduced by adopting best practice in energy management, improving machine efficiency and increasing energy conservation awareness within the business.