17th January 2024

GMG Energy’s sawmill manager Vasile Damian.

GMG Energy, the rapidly expanding Highland timber products specialist which contributes significantly to the circular economy in the Highlands and the Northern Isles, is set to play a bigger role in Scotland’s construction sector.

The Halladale-based business has seen three of its senior employees, including Director Malcolm Morrison, secure visual softwood structural grading credentials which qualifies the company to supply builders and joinery businesses with the stress tested timber used in housing and commercial property construction projects.

Mr Morrison said: “As a result of securing these credentials, GMG Energy can now stress test wood to reach the highest building standards This, in turn, will lead us into supplying market demand for structural timber from joiners, builders and architects not only in the North of Scotland but throughout the country.

“We are now accredited to apply a unique stamp on specific timber products we manufacture to assure potential customers of its quality and fitness for construction projects.”

Alongside Mr Morrison, GMG Energy’s sawmill manager, Vasile Damian and his deputy, Adrian Cegielka, also underwent and passed an onsite five-days visual grading of softwood certification training and test challenge set by accredited training supplier, bmtrada.

“I’m delighted that all three of us passed our softwood structural grading test at the first attempt. The pass mark is 80 per cent and at £1350+ VAT each to undertake the course it’s a significant investment in training for a growing business like ours”, Mr Morrison added.

Mr Damian said: “Essentially we were taught how to identify four grades of timber: c14 and c18 are lower grades so do not take as much load-bearing weight, c16 is for general use for a house but has limits, while c24 is of a higher quality that can bear more weight and is used in critical structural situations.

“Obtaining the qualification is an important step for us as a company because it opens the door for us to more high-quality work within the construction sector.”

GMG Energy this year invested £150,000 in state-of-the-art sawmill equipment which takes its larger timber and processes it into posts, rail, cladding and purlins, or structural roof members.

It has also recently spent in the region of £100,000 on timber treatment equipment to help open up new markets among construction companies and farm businesses which require treated and stress-tested products.

As a major plank of its business model, the company is committed to replacing every log of timber that it uses, and plants 10,000 new trees a year, which grow to maturity in 35 years. It far exceeded this target in 2021, planting in the region of 20,000 trees.

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