L-R: Dave Burd - Mill manager at BSW with Assembly Member Kirsty Williams and Hamish McLeod - Head of BSW Public Affairs, taking a look around the Biomass plant.

BSW Timber welcomes Welsh Assembly Member

Published:  15 May, 2012

POWYS: Kirsty Williams, Welsh Assembly Member for Brecon and Radnorshire, visited BSW Timber’s sawmill in Newbridge-on-Wye on 12 May to mark the latest phase of a multi-million investment programme for the mill.

The leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats was taken on a tour of the site which has benefitted from a sustained programme of investment over the last five years.

Last year, BSW invested £1.8 million in the installation of the UK’s largest biomass hot water boiler plant to benefit from the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive scheme. The plant now consists of a pair of three-megawatt boilers and is set to create annual environmental savings of more than 2800 tonnes of carbon dioxide, as well as improving annual profitability for BSW by £700,000 through oil cost savings.

BSW also announced last year that it is creating 25 new full-time jobs at the mill following planning consent to extend its working hours. This is allowing the Newbridge site to operate more effectively and efficiently, significantly increasing production levels.

During the past five years, BSW has invested £6 million in the mill and now employs 140 staff, making it the largest single site sawmill in Wales.

Ms Williams said: “‘I was delighted to meet with BSW Timber and to have a tour of the Newbridge-on-Wye site to see first-hand the improvements that have been made over the past five years. The company’s commitment to environmental improvements and renewable energy sources is inspirational. BSW Timber is a huge asset for my constituency and has a critical role to play in maintaining local wealth and employment; I look forward to working with them in the future.’

Welcoming Ms Williams to Newbridge, Hamish McLeod, BSW’s Director of Public Affairs said: “As a rural employer, BSW Timber has a critical role to play in maintaining local wealth and employment. We have shown over the past five years that our operation at Newbridge-on-Wye is going from strength to strength, thanks to a rolling programme of continued investment in plant, people and environmental improvements.

“Our investment reinforces the importance of the forestry sector to both local and national economies, creating a positive knock-on effect throughout the supply chain.

“One of the points that we clearly made during the visit was that this increased usage is dependent on there being an appropriate level of woodland expansion across Wales to meet the future needs of our industry.

“Today’s visit was also about celebrating our commitment to improved renewable energy sources – especially in the light of the continued expansion of large-scale biomass electricity power plants, which remains a real threat to the success of our business across the UK.”

BSW Newbridge’s mill manager David Burd said “Thanks to our improved efficiencies, we are now producing more home-grown timber here than ever before, leading to increased sustainable usage in expanding UK markets such as timber frame houses and the repairs, maintenance and improvements sector.”

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