Friday 23 February 2018

Peat briquette sales boom as cold snap bites

Treacy Hogan

THE EXTENDED cold snap and last year’s washout summer has sparked a huge boom in briquette sales nationwide.

Demand for peat briquettes is up 47pc since the start of the year, compared with 2012.

But Bord na Mona today assured householders that they won’t run out of supplies despite the unprecedented demand.

And prices are not expected  to increase because of the surge in people bying bales of briquettes.

The demand is up on the same period last year because of the cold weather, the snow and the ice, “ a company spokesman said.

“ But we are managing stocks,” he added.

Another factor in the shortage was last summer’s ecord breaking rainfall, which saw 2.5 times the average rainfall for June and July, with August also well above average.

This severely impacted Bord na Mona’s peat harvesting operations.

At the end of the harvest period the company confirmed its peat harvest was 37pc of the amount expected for the year.

This was the worst ever harvest for the company.

Higher than normal moisture levels in the peat used in briquette production has resulted in reduced output but this does not affect their quality.

A fire in the company's briquette factory at Littleton also caused a loss in production during the period of peak demand.

In response, the company put in place a contingency plan that included measures aimed at managing current peat stocks.

“As the company works through a period of reduced seasonal demand it remains confident it can continue to manage stocks to meet customer requirements,” a statement said.

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