West Suffolk: Bridgebrooke leading the way on renewable wood fuels with Hotties
A WEST Suffolk company launched just six months is leading the way in the UK in the production of renewable wood logs.
Bridgebrooke Energy, based at Risby, near Bury St Edmunds, supplies customers across the UK and Europe with new environmentally friendly wood logs called Hotties, which are made from 100% recycled clean wood.
Hotties can be used for open fires, wood burning stoves, fire pits and chimineas, and Bridgebrooke also produces a summer fuel range including charcoal.
John Jardine, chief executive of Bridgebrooke Energy, said the supply process was “totally renewable”, with Hotties products being first mass-produced 100% recycled extruded wood logs to be manufactured in the UK.
“Our products are manufactured at our factory at Symonds Farm using an extruder machine and the plant is adjacent to a farm-based anaerobic digester energy source which means we take the electricity it produces to power the factory and some of the waste heat to dry our feedstock, he said.
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“We use timber such as sawdust, wood off cuts from factories and joinery waste, dry it and then compress it into Hotties. They only have 4% moisture content so the heat value can be up to three times that of usual logs, which gives reliable burning and means they are extremely eco-friendly.”
Bridgebrooke supplies a range of retailers, including garden centres, petrol forecourts, wood burner and stove shops, and fuel merchants, as well as selling direct to the public.
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“We have a good coverage of customers from the Shetland Islands to Guernsey as well as in Spain and France,” said Mr Jardine. “We currently have just over 200 retail stockists and I’m very pleased because this is growing weekly at present.
“Our UK produced charcoal product for barbecues and tandoori restaurants has had an exceptional amount of interest. 95% of charcoal in the UK is imported and we are one of very few manufacturers to be able to provide it in this country.
“The business has only been going six months but the fact we are creating a renewable fuel from renewable energy gives us a unique selling point.”
Bridgebrooke Energy was launched with backing from Clydesdale Bank’s financial solutions centre in nearby Fornham All Saints.
“We have received great backing from Clydesdale Bank to get this new business venture off the ground and the fact they are located only five miles away means it is convenient for meetings and for when we need advice,” said Mr Jardine. “We are grateful for their support at a stage when gaining the right advice is crucial for any business to survive and prosper.”
Matthew Long, agribusiness partner at the centre, said Bridgebrooke Energy had spotted a gap in the market and was reaping the benefits.
“The business is growing at a rapid rate which underlines the quality of its products and that customers want to buy 100% eco-friendly goods whether it is via the internet or from stockists,” he added.
“Clydesdale Bank is committed to creating partnerships and supporting new businesses and we had no hesitation in supporting Bridgebrooke Energy with their plans which are already proving to be a big hit.”