Local firm EGGER are expanding their Auchinleck site to include a new biomass boiler and lamination plant, leading to more jobs in the area.

EGGER say the plans will create 16 new full-time equivalent jobs.

Their proposals to expand the business at their Barony site were approved by East Ayrshire Council last week.

The current site is used for chipboard production.

The firm hope the new additions will help the business improve their eco-credentials, with plans for waste at the site, which would previously be ferried away to landfill, to be used to power the biomass boiler.

The company hope to meet 100 per cent of their electricity needs using the biomass boiler.

An EGGER spokesperson said: “In November 2021, East Ayrshire Council granted consents that will allow us to invest in a biomass boiler, lamination line and to add a small extension to the rear of the plant.

“Plans include the installation of a new biomass facility and lamination line to support the plants continued growth, and the local economy through employment opportunities.

“The changes will further improve the efficiency of the site’s closed loop production cycle and reduce energy costs, contributing towards the ultimate goal of achieving net zero production.

“Our proposal is for the installation of a biomass plant to produce electricity and to generate hot gas, which dries the wood material required for chipboard production. By adding a biomass facility, we can utilise the waste wood within the plant.

“We propose to replace 100 per cent of the current electricity requirements through biomass with an output of 5.5 MW. The location is on the west side of the building, close to the existing timber/sawdust storage area and is 2,220 sq. m or 0.2 hectares in size.”

EGGER employs 148 people at the Barony site.