A Birmingham firm which has handled the resale of coal ash in the UK for more than a decade is celebrating after being shortlisted for an award thanks to their environmentally-friendly ethos.

Power Minerals has been nominated in the ‘Environment’ category at the 2014 Birmingham Post Business Awards following their work to recycle 1.8m tonnes of ash from eight power stations across the UK last year.

The company, which counts the Drax power plant in North Yorkshire – the largest coal-fired station in Europe – as one of its clients, ensures as little coal ash as possible goes to landfill, instead selling it to companies to use in construction projects as an aggregate replacement.

The nomination represents the progress made by the firm, which was set up in 2003 in the corner of a Sutton Coldfield office sharing scheme and sold its first lorry load containing just 30 tonnes.

With changes in the energy policy looming – the government is looking to reduce CO2 levels by 26% by 2020 – Power Minerals are now focusing on how to continue supplying the demand for coal ash on these shores, whilst also ensuring ash produced by new biomass plants can be safely recycled.

Nigel Waldron, chief executive at Power Minerals, said: “Over the next 12 months we will be focusing on the biomass markets, but that does not mean coal ash just goes away. An import terminal which is tied in with our German partners is our next move and we are making good progress in ensuring there is a home for biomass ash as it cannot be sold into existing ash markets.

“Ash is not a sexy subject, but it is vital to our everyday lives. If the stations get constipated, we end up with no electricity. The amount which goes into landfill is reducing. It used to be a 50/50 split, but now around 65% is sold on and used once again.

“I was born in Handsworth so to receive recognition from the local region makes me very proud, but it is also a sign of how the work and growth of the company is being acknowledged. We’re in illustrious company, but it will be a chance for us to reward our hard-working staff.”

Stacey Barnfield, editor of the Birmingham Post, said: “It is fantastic to see companies such as Power Minerals flying the flag for the region across Europe. It is also reassuring to see a company which handles such large quantities of coal ash taking a proactive step towards ensuring they recycle it as cleanly as possible.

“The Birmingham Post Business Awards is all about celebrating the best businesses in the region. We’ve had a record number of applications this year and that is testament to the way Birmingham has bounced back. This is a party five years in the making.”

The ceremony will be hosted by comedian Lee Hurst at the International Convention Centre on Wednesday 26th November. Companies interested in booking a table at the event should visit www.bpbusinessawards.co.uk

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