Annual Report 2013

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 the two ESB power stations at West Offaly and Lough Ree. The business also supplies peat to our Retail and Environmental businesses for use in heating, horticulture and wastewater treatment products.

Bord na Móna is committed to the use of 300,000 tonnes per annum of biomass by 2015 at Edenderry (30% co-firing), with up to 500,000 tonnes required for the plant by 2020.

Innovation with a fresh approach

 







Feedstock Icons

"The poor 2013 peat harvest was unprecedented in the history of Bord na Móna. Due to extreme summer rainfall the harvest
outturn was only 37% of
annual target. "

Challenges

Peat Harvest

The poor 2013 peat harvest was unprecedented in the history of Bord na Móna. Due to extreme summer rainfall the harvest outturn was only 37% of the annual target. This severely impacted the stock position and challenged our supply chain to meet customer supply demands, particularly over the winter months.

Business Transformation

The business faces significant future challenges as a result of a number of key market drivers – the ending of the peat fuel supply agreements with power station customers, the Public Service Obligation (PSO) peat support mechanism and the priority dispatch status of the three peat fired power stations. There is the added challenge of the potential impact of carbon tax on briquette sales and peat dilution on retail growing media. Feedstock will be required to transform the business to a lower cost flexible operating model in order to ensure a sustainable future.

Biomass Supply Chain/Peat Dilution

In order to fulfil its peat dilution and co-firing strategy and to support our vision ‘A Contract with Nature’, it is essential that Feedstock creates strategic alliances to establish supply chains of indigenous and imported biomass products, at the right quality and price.

Achievements

Peat Supply Availability

Despite the poor 2013 harvest and the co-operation of key customers including ESB, Feedstock met customer requirements by increasing the supply tonnage of biomass and scheduling the road and rail transport network to ensure the appropriate and timely supply of the best quality peat available.

Production Preparation

As a result of the critical peat stock position, we implemented several measures to ensure the maximum production potential for next year’s harvest season. The area available for production has been increased and existing peatland areas have been reconfigured to maximise peat production and stock pile sizing. We have also invested in additional infrastructure and equipment. Consequently, potential production targets have been increased from 3.6 million tonnes to 4 million tonnes for the 2013 summer harvesting period.

Business Transformation

As part of the planned business transformation process, Feedstock progressed the Asset Management restructuring project. Costs were reduced and demanning of workshops began in line with the plan. This transformation programme was supported by extensive consultation and engagement with employees to ensure a successful and sustainable future business model.

Biomass Procurement

The supply of biomass amounted to 223,000 energy tonnes. As a result, Powergen achieved a co-firing rate of 22%, significantly ahead of the 18% target for the year.

Energy Management

As part of Feedstock’s efforts to reduce its energy footprint, Mountdillon works achieved an Energy Management Accreditation from SEAI.

Commitments

The Feedstock business continues to focus its commitments on four key areas:

- Our Customers: As a result of our continuous transformation agenda, Feedstock supplies quality products at competitive prices to customers who operate in an increasingly difficult and challenging business environment.

- Our Employees: Feedstock endeavours to provide a safe place of work and safe systems of work for all employees. The business continues to implement a change programme which will ensure sustainable employment into the future.

- Our Communities: The business is committed to maintaining a high level of corporate responsibility in the communities in which we operate.

- Our Environment: The business is committed to minimising the environmental impact of our operations and complying with all the conditions of our environmental licences. This is consistent with Bord na Móna’s vision of ‘A Contract with Nature’. As the only Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) licensed peat producer in Ireland, Feedstock is de-commissioning and rehabilitating bogs as they exit peat production, providing significant amenity value to local communities as well as adding a unique and invaluable asset to the national biodiversity stock.