Forestry Commission Wales is the Welsh Government’s Department of Forestry. Its role is to promote sustainable management of woodlands to increase their value to society and the environment. It also manages 125,000 hectares of woodland on behalf of the Welsh Government.
In 2002, a number of traditional virgin wood fibre markets in Wales and just across the border in England increased their use of recycled wood fibre as their primary raw material. This led to a fall in both the value of and the demand for smaller diameter round timber, especially in South Wales.
Forestry Commission Wales invited business proposals in an effort to promote new or alternative markets. One proposal came from Western Bio Energy Ltd, which operates a 10MW biomass power plant near Port Talbot, South Wales. This led to a 12-year supply contract between Forestry Commission Wales and Western Bio Energy for up to 66,000 tonnes of wood fibre per year.