The opening of a new renewable energy plant at Discovery Park this summer is already bringing new jobs and opportunities to East Kent.
Euroforest, one of the biggest suppliers of wood and wood products in the UK has been granted the contract to supply the Combined Heat and Power (CHP) facility with its fuel for the next 20 years.
Over the course of this period the company will supply Kent Renewable Energy Ltd with 240,000 tonnes of wood fibre per annum – a mixture of hardwood and softwood logs, saw mill chippings and recycled wood materials.
The nerve centre for this operation will be Discovery Park, where Euroforest has already opened an office in readiness for August, the scheduled switch-on date for the site’s own power source.
It will be staffed permanently with a fuel manager and administration support, but with a capacity to grow as the project develops. Four other operational staff will be based there too.
Further jobs will be created in the supply chain, ffrom transport companies to logging contractors hired to deliver the wood, sourced from private and public woodland across Kent and the South-East.
Tim Leavers, Business Development and Support Manager for Euroforest, said: “The team have been delighted so far with the welcome and support they’ve received at Discovery Park.
“There’s a real sense of teamwork here with great facilities. Being located across the road from the bio-mass plant that we’ll be supplying is clearly a bonus too.
“One of the reasons Discovery Park was selected as the location for this new bio-mass facility was the shared vision for green energy, which fitted in well with the project.
“It’s going to be a challenge for us as the sole supplier to the CHP plant at Discovery Park, but it’s a great opportunity and we feel privileged to be part of it.”