Bord na Móna confirms adequate peat stocks for customers despite unprecedented Summer rainfall and outlines contingency plan to employees

This summer’s record breaking rainfall, which saw 2.5 times the average rainfall for June and July, with August also well above average, has severely impacted Bord na Móna’s peat harvesting operations.

The peat harvest is now 37% of the amount expected for 2012, the worst ever year, and it is unlikely that the shortfall can be recovered in what remains of the harvesting season that typically lasts from May to September. In response to this, and in order to mitigate the resultant losses, the company has prepared a contingency plan and will be implementing this over the next number of months. This contingency plan includes measures aimed at managing current peat stocks, revenue increases and cost control initiatives, both pay and non-pay.

To this end seasonal employees will not be employed in the Feedstock business over the winter months 2012-2013. This measure will involve an amount of redeployment of full time employees within the Feedstock business which is situated predominantly in the Midlands area. This initiative has already commenced and will continue until March 2013.

The company is also introducing a short-time working initiative that will affect approximately ninety office based employees. It is intended that this initiative will commence at the start of October and continue until end of March 2013.

Notwithstanding the difficulties presented by the weather, Bord na Móna is in a position to confirm that it has taken steps to ensure it has adequate stocks of peat to supply its customers. The company would like to further reassure its customers, and the public, that briquette production is also unaffected by the harvest shortfall.