North Kerry Woodchip
Edwin Stryker (087 2535909) established a forestry plantation some years ago, but along with many other private owners found that coming to harvesting times (after a number of years) there were no facilities for preparing the product for market in terms of chipping wood.
His next step was then to purchase the machinery to harvest and chip the trees. However, once in possession of the machines, he made another discovery – that the moisture content was too high for chipping. He then approached North East Kerry Development for support and was successful in his application for LEADER grant aid of €8,796 which enabled him to renovate a facility to dry the product before chipping.
Since securing the facilities and equipment he needed, Edwin’s business has gone from strength to strength. He now supplies a local authority run district heating system in Tralee his business sustains 3 local jobs.
However, the impact of supporting sustainable energy enterprises such as this by NEKD goes beyond the jobs created by the enterprise itself. When locally produced fuel replaces imported fuel it has a huge impact on the local economy. It is estimated that for every €1 of fuel imported (e.g. oil) €0.90 leaves the area, whereas for every €1 of locally produced fuel used locally (e.g. woodchip in Kerry) €0.80 stays in the area.
Owner Edwin Stryker says that “The LEADER grant was vital to our business development in that it enabled us to construct a wood chip drying floor that has helped us expand our wood chipping business. The drying floor has enabled us increase our output of wood chip to meet the increasing demand for our product”.