25 February 2018

UNVEILED: First of its kind in the UK, new state-of-the-art wood refinery brings multi-million pound investment to UK and regional economy...

A major, multi-million pound, renewables energy development is planned for East Yorkshire with the announcement of a new £10 million wood refinery.

The state-of-the-art plant, which is the first of its kind in the UK and only the second of its kind to be built in the world due to advanced patented processes, will revolutionise supply to the UK's biomass energy market as well as provide a boost to the region's economy and wider Northern Powerhouse growth strategy with £10 million to be spent over the next year alone.

The announcement is part of an ambitious and dedicated, long-term growth strategy which will see the Y Pellets brand significantly strengthen its international presence within the UK biomass fuel market. It is anticipated to become one of the largest, private sector, renewable energy investment projects in the country over the forthcoming months.

The new plant is to be built on development land at Goole 36, one of East Yorkshire's largest and most high profile industrial and distribution enterprise zones. And, using technology developed in Austria, Y Pellets aims to bring premium quality, locally-produced, biomass wood pellets made from UK-sourced wood to homes and businesses nationwide.

Y Pellets is currently one of the fastest growing, independent wood pellet brands nationally delivering bulk-blown, EN Plus standard wood pellets to clients including hotel venues, care homes, manufacturers and public sector organisations direct from a dedicated 5,000 tonne storage facility at the Port of Goole for the UK market. ARC Applied Sciences, which has already constructed and operates an advanced European wood fibre processing and pellet manufacturing plant in Austria, will build and operate the plant in Goole.

The new wood refinery site is anticipated to be fully operational by 2019 and will significantly increase the organisation's European manufacturing operations. Once construction is complete, ten new manufacturing jobs could be initially created within the first year, with additional employment also being created within the supply chain in the short-term during the construction and development stages.

Neil Holland, Director of ARC Applied Sciences and Managing Director of Y Pellets commented, "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've already employed the latest distribution technology delivering wood pellets to customers and by constructing the most advanced wood processing facility, we aim to grow our UK presence and continue to establish a market-leading company. We currently operate a 5,000 tonne storage facility close by and having looked at several other locations around the country, we felt that development 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.

"As well as the site, we're also adopting and incorporating highly innovative, specialist technologies into our process systems which will allow us to apply a very forward-thinking approach to biomass fuel and raise the bar in terms of quality of product, industry standards and customer service. Whilst we welcome the Government's recent commitment to accelerate the development of forestry in Britain as a resource for the future, other European countries are way ahead of the UK in terms of renewable and sustainable energy supplies so being part of a larger organisation at the forefront of biomass innovation and development, we hope to make a real difference in the industry, for our customers, future generations and to the energy market in general."

Work is estimated to take 14 months to complete with the first phase of construction due to start on-site in Spring 2018. It is anticipated that the first wood pellet production in the UK could be as early as March 2019 and once fully operational, the plant will receive thousands of tonnes of sustainably-sourced timber per annum from the UK as production levels reach a staggering 50,000 tonnes of pellets per year.

The company has worked in close partnership with the Homes & Communities Agency, investment management company, Downing's LLP, and East Riding of Yorkshire Council over the last year in order to secure the 5.9 acre site and obtain planning permission for the UK's first wood refinery. The land earmarked for development is close to Y Pellets' existing storage facility and will make it one of the largest commercial enterprises situated within the industrial zone.

Jake Berry MP, Minister for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, commented, "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.  Y Pellets' new processing plant is an important boost not only to the local economy but to the region and the country and demonstrates that we have the right skills, transport infrastructure, workforce and supply chains on a regional level to help grow their business in a national and international marketplace."

Councillor Andy Burton, cabinet portfolio holder for economic investment and planning delivery at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said, "Y Pellets multi-million-pound investment in a new refinery at Goole 36 is excellent news for the town and for the East Riding economy. The ambitious plan would see the expansion of a successful business so it can increase its manufacturing operations in the UK and in Europe - creating new jobs, supporting the construction industry and developing more opportunities for companies operating in the supply chain.

"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. Goole is a thriving inland port with excellent rail links and ready access to the national highway network, via the M62, making the town an ideal location for businesses to locate and grow."

Y Pellets is a supplier of premium quality, sustainable wood pellets to homes, private organisations and local authorities. The company was recently named New Business of the Year 2018 at the Goole & Howdenshire Business Excellence Awards.

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