Balcas Energy – Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update (11/01/20)
At Balcas Energy we continue to take the potential risk of Coronavirus (COVID-19) seriously and continuously monitoring the situation and reviewing the operational impact of any developments and potential changes. This includes assessing the effect the virus could have on any staff, operations and/or customers that rely on us.
We are doing all we can to make sure our supply chain is delivering raw materials from local forests, our manufacturing plants are fully operational, our Customer Support Team is staffed and our drivers are delivering as normal, with the main focus on getting your fuel delivery to you withing the time promised in a safe and hygienic manner.
At present, we are fully operational and conducting deliveries and business commitments to our normal service. We are advising our staff to take measures that are consistent with advice from the World Health Organisation and Government regarding personal hygiene and managing their own circumstances.
With some of our team working form home in the current Covid-19 restrictions, our phone lines are busier than usual and it might take a little bit longer to get through enquiries. We encourage online ordering or via email.
We are an Essential service supporting homes & businesses across the UK & Ireland
Balcas Energy provides essential renewable fuel to heat 1000’s of homes and businesses across the UK & Ireland from its:
2 manufacturing plants (located in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland and Invergordon, Scotland) and
Multiple local depots across GB where our fleet of specialist vehicles and drivers are based.
Our wood pellet fuel manufacturing plants rely on a continuous supply of fibre from our own sawmills in Enniskillen, nearby forests and from other nearby sawmills. They also rely on our specialist team of road transport being operational to ensure delivery of both raw materials and finished goods.
With the impact of Covid 19 our customers rely on us more than ever for the delivery of fuel to their homes which for many is also now their place of work. We have seen a spike in orders for home deliveries since both Ireland and the UK started implementing social distancing.
Over 70% of what we supply is for space heating commercial or public sector premises. This includes supermarkets, agriculture such as poultry & mushroom growing, NHS hospitals and nurses’ accommodations, police stations, Old people nursing homes, community centres, fire stations and schools. Many of our residential and commercial customers have no alternative means of heat if they could not obtain wood pellet fuel.
As the largest wood pellet producer in the British Isles we also supply some other local fuel distributors product who in turn supply their own local end user customers. As we operate CHP plants at both of our manufacturing plants, we also supply around 12MWh of electricity onto the national grid 24 hours per day.
Drivers’ Social Distancing and Delivery Procedures
To enable us to maintain our service of supplying pellets, we have instructed our drivers to reduce and restrict the amount of contact they have when they are loading and delivering. They have been instructed to maintain social distancing.
Drivers have been instructed to contact you prior to delivery to make arrangements for delivery so as to maintain no contact, if the driver is unable to contact you by phone prior to the delivery, they will go ahead and try to complete the delivery.
We will not be requesting customers to sign for delivery and will simply note the name of the customer on the delivery system. Our delivery drivers will not pass a handheld device for customers to sign after delivering – they will sign for the delivery themselves.
If a customer is at the location upon arrival then our drivers will maintain a distance of at least 2 metres away. If there is a requirement to enter a facility or home, customers will be requested to remain in another room or stay at a minimum of 2 metres away for the duration.
We have implemented all of the measures above to maintain service levels with the health and safety of our people and our customers as our top priority. We thank you for your understanding.
Coronavirus Steering Team
A steering team is meeting on a daily basis to review the situation specific to Balcas Energy, and the latest Government advice. This Team are communicating with the workforce to ensure that everyone is as aware as possible of all the latest developments and precautions to take in specific situations and as the virus continues to spread.
Critical Operational Review
As one of the UK & Ireland’s main supplier of Wood Pellets, Balcas Energy operates a number of sites across the UK to deliver services and products to our customers. We may experience increased restrictions on transport and deliveries due to measures been taken as a result of this pandemic. We will continue to provide our services in a timely manner, please be aware that there may be some delays due to circumstances outside of our control. As stated above, we are currently operating normally, and we will communicate any changes as soon as they occur.
While our service is of great importance, the wellbeing of our staff and customers has always been our number 1 priority. This is of particular importance during this Coronavirus outbreak and we are working with all members of staff to ensure they conduct business operations that maintain their own and our customers’ wellbeing. We have instigated several changes to our normal working practice, including:
A restriction on all international travel
Remote meeting facilities (teleconference and video conference) are encouraged where possible. If internal meetings are required they are limited in terms of meeting times and attendee numbers
Attending external conferences is not permitted unless business critical.
Visitors to our sites need to declare current health and travel movements and are only allowed into meeting areas.
We operate a policy of continuous review and are monitoring the situation across our full supply chain on a daily basis – if this requires us to take further actions then we will do so to ensure the safety of our staff and wider public.
We also want you to have the confidence that you can order online anywhere you are and anytime on www.balcasenergy.com
This is our most popular method of supply. We have a full fleet of delivery drivers that operate from 8 depots right around the UK and Ireland. All our drivers are instructed to keep the safe social distance.