A £10m wood refinery at Goole will “revolutionise supply to the UK’s biomass energy market” developers say.
Construction is about to start on the plant, which is the first of its kind in the UK, close to the Tesco distribution centre, at the Goole 36 industrial park, off the M62.
Once up and running next year it will produce 50,000 tonnes of pellets, using 100 per cent UK-sourced wood, the vast majority of which will be sourced from a 100-mile radius. A significant proportion will come from North Yorkshire.
Developers Y Pellets already distributes wood pellets to customers with biomass boilers, including care homes, hotels and public sector organisations, imported into the Humber to its 5,000-tonne storage facility at Goole Docks. The new plant, which will create ten manufacturing jobs, as well as jobs for drivers, will be built and operated by ARC Applied Sciences, which constructed the world’s first plant in Austria.
Director of ARC Applied Sciences and managing director of Y Pellets Neil Holland said: “Our vision is to become the leading supplier of premium, high-quality biomass wood pellets in the UK and Europe, and the new refinery will enable us to provide the best possible product manufactured from sustainably-sourced wood and produced by a local workforce.
“This is a massive investment for the UK’s biomass fuel market and the economy in general, both regionally and nationally.
“We operate a 5,000 tonne storage facility close by and having looked at several other locations around the country, we felt that land at Goole 36 offered us a total, all-round solution in terms of manufacturing, warehouse, logistics and distribution.
“It’s a huge milestone for the organisation and a vital next step in its commercial growth plans.”
Mr Holland said the first of the products would be pellets, but in future they hope to make products including wood and plastic composites which can be used in window frames as well as insulation products.
One of the selling points about East Yorkshire was the presence of other renewable and plastic businesses. He said: “At the moment we are distributing the pellets through Y Pelletts right across the country.
“We started in Yorkshire and moved out to the Midlands and up as far as Scotland and we continue to expand that part of the business.
“As we get the plant up and running it grows from there. We can expand and add to the facility over time.”
He said their plant in Austria was in an area of outstanding natural beauty and had to comply with tough environmental standards.
“One of the key things is that the plant is extremely efficient in terms of how we use heat and energy. This is a completely different technology - that is the exciting thing in terms of bringing it to Yorkshire.”
Minister for the Northern Powerhouse Jake Berry said: “I am delighted by Y Pellets’ decision to invest on the Enterprise Zone site in Goole.
“This is another example of how the Northern Powerhouse is becoming a much sought after destination for investment and this is positive news for the northern and UK economies.”
East Riding councillor Andy Burton, portfolio holder for economic investment, added: “The Humber region is firmly establishing itself as the UK’s energy estuary and biomass fuel producers, such as Y Pellets, are playing an important role in developing new renewable energy technology.”