On October 13th last, CJ Sheeran welcomed the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, to our Ballinrobe facility for a plant tour and a discussion on a number of topics. Among the items up for discussion were ISPM15 heat-treatment, Brexit, insurance costs, sustainable forestry, the support scheme for renewable heat (SSRH) and biomass.
CJ Sheeran is Ireland’s largest pallet manufacturer and recycler. it is headquartered in Mountrath, Co. Laois with other plants based in Ballinrobe, Castlepollard and Dublin. It produces over 1.6m new pallets and recycles 2m used pallets annually.
Managing Director, Mark Sheeran, and Sales Director, Fergal Moran, were on hand to welcome Minister Ring to the Ballinrobe Plant. “We were delighted to welcome Minister Ring to our Ballinrobe Plant”, said Fergal. “We’ve invested significantly in this plant over the past number of years, installing 3 high speed kilns, a new biomass boiler and warehousing facilities. Our customer base is typically a multinational who is exporting overseas and who has a high demand for high quality kiln dried pallets. Our pallets end up in the USA, Russia, Africa, New Zealand and Australia and are a very important part of the supply chain. There is huge investment in our business in terms of equipment and facilities and as we say ‘It’s more that just a pallet’.”
Mark added: “Our investment in kilns has been timely in the overall context of Brexit because if the UK were to crash out of the EU it would be deemed to be a third country. That would mean that all wood packaging material, including pallets, going to the UK would have to be heat-treated. Our investment in our Ballinrobe and Laois plants means that we now have the biggest heat-treatment capacity in Ireland and the UK”.
CJ Sheeran currently employs 170 people across the group. The company has plans to continue reducing its carbon footprint, with a number of green initiatives currently ongoing in the company. Ashleigh Doyle, Director, said some of their ‘Going Green’ initiatives include replacing oil with biomass at the Mountrath facility in early 2020. “This will displace 365k litres of oil with renewable woodchip”, she explained. “We’ve also just completed a project by converting lighting in all of our facilities to LED and we’ve started a biodiversity programme which we believe will make a big difference”.
Minister Ring expressed his admiration for the business following his visit. “You cannot but be impressed by what the people are doing in CJ Sheeran”, he remarked. “It’s a medium sized business that recently celebrated its 25th year in business. You can see that it makes a big contribution to the town of Ballinrobe and I commend the team on what they have achieved. On a personal note, it’s great to see the work started by the Moran family in the Ballinrobe facility being continued by CJ Sheeran”.
“It is the government’s intention that we will continue to support “best in class” companies like CJ Sheeran through Enterprise Ireland. I wish them well with their endeavours into the future”.