Timber and renewables firm acquires 400 acres of forest to ensure continuity of supply

Malcolm Morrison

BIOMASS supplier and timber products specialist GMG Energy has announced the purchase of a ‘substantial swathe’ of forest in the north east of Scotland to protect future supply.

The company, which originated on a farm in the Strath of Halladale in Sutherland, has acquired 400 acres of softwood-planted land at Quintfall Forest, towards the east coast south of John O’Groats.

The forest contains 21,000 tonnes of productive timber. The sawmill at GMG Energy’s production facility currently processes in the region of 2,000 tonnes a year, meaning the purchase has created security of supply for the foreseeable future.

The business said it is committed to replacing every log of timber that it uses, and plants 10,000 new trees a year, which grow to maturity in 35 years. It exceeded this target last year, planting around 20,000 trees.

Malcolm Morrison, director of GMG Energy, said, “It has been our policy up until now to buy our raw materials on the open market, from established local suppliers, but this deal will ensure continuity of supply in an increasingly volatile environment. Quintfall is just over 20 miles from our base of operation at Bighouse Farm, so it will not add to the road miles burden and the acquisition will chime with our wish to invest locally and provide a reliable resource for other local companies.

“The purchase will not affect our ongoing planting programme, as replenishment is the key to sustainability, and we will continue to try to reduce our impact on the environment by not wasting any of the product with which we work.”

GMG Energy has also invested £150,000 in sawmill equipment which takes its larger timber and processes it into posts, rail, cladding and purlins, or structural roof members.

The firm also plans a spend around £100,000 on timber treatment equipment which will open up new markets among construction companies and farm businesses which require treated and stress-tested products.