Ruthin/Chester: Timber firm's Spanish recruit helps it win contracts worth £100,000

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Staff reporter (Leader Live)

A TIMBER company’s Spanish recruit has helped it win major fencepost contracts worth £100,000 with his language skills.

Marketing graduate Gerard Raventos, from Barcelona, was taken on by Clifford Jones Timber of Ruthin last year and it’s a decision that’s already paying dividends.

When the UK’s biggest producer of fenceposts was involved in discussions with Spanish security fencing company Mar-ber the language barrier was causing a problem until Gerard stepped in.

Now Clifford Jones Timber is supplying fenceposts made from Welsh and Scottish timber for security fencing at new solar energy parks across the UK.

So far Mar-ber, whose headquarters are in Murcia in Spain, have placed orders worth £100,000 for fence posts for eight UK solar parks in different parts of England and Wales, with Clifford Jones Timber delivering shipments to Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Cornwall, Dorset, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire and Rhodda Cynon Taf in South Wales.

Gerard, 26, who now lives in Chester, is digital marketing executive at Clifford Jones Timber which manufactures over four million fenceposts a year at its bases in Ruthin and in Gretna in the Scottish borders.

“Mar-ber were looking for a suitable supplier and had seen us on the internet and were keen to use wooden fencing because of its reduced environmental impact and really I was able to act as a translator between the two companies,” said Gerard.

“It worked very well and I think they were glad to have someone who spoke their language, so to speak, to help them get the information they needed and place their orders.”

Mar-ber is a major provider of security fencing with a turnover of more than two million euros a year and operates in its native Spain, Portugal and Chile as well asthe UK.

As well solar energy parks both in Spain and the UK, it has supplied security fencing for high speed railway lines, airports, desalination plants and roads in Spain.

Rafael Marmol, Mar-ber general manager, said they chose Clifford Jones Timber because of the quality of the product as well as the service.

“We use the posts for fencing to reduce both the visual and residual environmental impact as well as to avoid accidents and damage by keeping people and animals out of the solar farms,” he said.

“We have completed 70 solar energy projects in Spain, Portugal, Chile and the UK where we have done 25, with a few more   to be done here soon.

“These vary in size from two to 20 hectares in size and from 15,000 solar panels to 200,000, from five megawatts in output to 50 megawatts.”

It’s not the only link Clifford Jones Timber has with the renewable industry – it has worked with St Asaph company Carbon Zero Renewables to develop the world’s first timber frames for solar panels and interest is being shown in them from the energy industry.

The company processes 100,000 tons of timber a year and also has a proud boast that it uses every scrap of that wood and nothing goes back through the gates without a sales receipt.

It has diversified on such a scale that it now also makes biomass boiler pellets for renewable heating systems, bedding for horses, laminated timber for the building industry, cat litter, wood briquettes and timber furniture.

Chairman Alan Jones, who lives in Wrexham, said: “Every piece of timber that comes through these gates is used. There isn’t any wasted and there aren’t many industries that can say that.

“We are constantly looking to diversify – about the only thing we haven’t found a use for just yet is the steam which is the only real residue of the operation and perhaps even that provides some rain for the farmers.”

See full story in the Free Press

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