A thriving Bury St Edmunds company is leading the way in the UK in the production of renewable wood logs.
Risby-based Bridgebrooke Energy supplies customers across the UK and Europe with new environmentally friendly wood logs called Hotties, which are made from 100% recycled clean wood.
Hotties are used for open fires, wood burning stoves, fire pits and chimineas. Bridgebrooke also produces a summer fuel range including UK charcoal for use by businesses for cooking as well as families for barbecues.
John Jardine, chief executive of Bridgebrooke Energy, said the entire process is totally renewable and their Hotties products are the first mass-produced 100% recycled extruded wood logs to be manufactured in the UK.
“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,” he said.
“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.
“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 four per cent 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.
“Our customers are a wide range of retailers, including garden centres, petrol forecourts, wood burner and stove shops, and fuel merchants. We also supply direct to the public in larger quantities. We have a good coverage of customers from the Shetland Islands to Guernsey as well as in Spain and France. 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 BBQs and Tandoori restaurants has had an exceptional amount of interest. Ninety-five per cent 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.
“We are a new customer of Clydesdale Bank and 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 Clydesdale Bank’s Bury St Edmunds Financial Solutions Centre (FSC), said Bridgebrooke Energy spotted a gap in the market and was reaping the benefits.
He said: “The business is growing at a rapid rate which underlines the quality of its products and that customers want to buy 100 per cent eco-friendly goods whether it is via the internet or from stockists.
“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.”