Date: Jul 2017

    UKQAA appoints new Director…

    Dr Nigel Cooke will replace Dr Robert Carroll as our Director from the end of July.


    As the country’s leading authority on the use of quality ash in construction and engineering applications we represent a range of members from across the construction supply chain.


    Dr Robert Carroll has led the UKQAA since 2012 and has helped to shape the association’s strategy, overseeing the expansion of membership to include overseas ash producers and suppliers. During his directorship, Rob has also been vital in developing sources of ash supply following the continued closure of coal fired power stations in the UK, including supporting the growth of importation and ash recovery.


    Dr Cooke will assume his responsibilities at the end of July with more than 30 years’ experience of working within the building materials sector, including time spent at Blue Circle Industries and Lafarge. He brings with him considerable global experience, including involvement in a number of cementitious initiatives across Europe, Russia, South East Asia and Japan. During his time with Blue Circle/Lafarge in the UK, he was responsible for setting up ash beneficiation projects and logistics facilities with ScottishPower, EDF Energy, RWE nPower and Drax Power. This Knowledge will be fundamental to the continued growth of both ash recovery and importation from new markets to meet UK demand for high quality ash.


    Our Chair, Ivan Skidmore, says: “Rob has been a great asset to the UKQAA and a superb champion for the use of quality ash across the UK. During his time with the association, we’ve seen change sweep the industry as ash availability has moved away from the big coal stations and towards stockpile recovery and importation. Rob has helped steer the UKQAA members through this ongoing transition, providing technical and logistical guidance throughout, so we’re hugely grateful for his time at the helm.


    “While we’re sorry to see Rob leave, we’re delighted to welcome Nigel to the UKQAA. Nigel’s commercial experience, as well as his knowledge of global projects and supply chains, will be vital as the market continues to adapt. His insight and knowledge will not only allow us to continue to advocate the use of this important resource, but continue to explore new opportunities to use and source quality ash.”


    Dr Nigel Cooke says: “I’m delighted to be joining the UKQAA and continuing the work of the association. There are some big challenges ahead such as securing the supply chain for ash and adapting to changing environmental legislation. Based on my initial meetings with members of the association, I am, however, very much encouraged by the innovative approaches being taken with regards to maximising existing resources as well as identifying potential import opportunities. As a consequence of such activities, I am confident that ash will continue to play an important role within the UK construction sector for many years to come.


    “I would also like to thank Rob for his drive and commitment during these difficult times and I would like to wish him and his family all the very best for the future.”


    Dr Robert Carroll says: “I’d like to thank the UKQAA membership for all their support and involvement over the years. The organisation continues to go from strength-to-strength and I wish them all the very best under Nigel’s leadership.”


    Date: Oct 2016

    We’re delighted to announce we’ve gone international

    From October, the UKQAA will be able to accept members from overseas. As the market for quality ash continues to grow, we believe the importation of ash will have an important role to play in the future.


    While our main role is to protect and maintain UK production and supply, the transition away from coal-fired power over the next five years will have an impact on supply if we don’t intervene. Importation from around the world has huge potential and we believe our technical advice, guidance, and expertise can help to safeguard future supplies of quality ash – a material that continues to enjoy considerable demand from the construction industry, and for very good reason.


    Over the next few months we’ll be working with our partners and the wider membership to welcome new members into the UKQAA fold. We’ll also be looking closely at the logistical issues an increase in importation could bring and ensure the quality of imported ash matches the high standards we expect at home. This isn’t an overnight solution, but will help to provide long-term stability.


    This is a hugely exciting time for the UKQAA and our membership, and we look forward to working with partners from overseas. For more information [contact us].


    Date: Apr 2016

    Spring 2016 Ash Statement

    Fly ash is a key ingredient of sustainable construction and we recognise the ash market has an important role to play in diversifying supply and supporting new infrastructure projects.


    At present, the ash marketplace is shifting – particularly with regards to fresh ash. In the short term, mild weather, low gas prices, and the unexpected closure of coal-fired units have reduced ash production. In the longer term further power station closures and the Government’s current energy policy will affect the availability of fresh ash.


    UKQAA members are however prepared for this and changes in supply should not impact the construction industry’s ability to deliver sustainable infrastructure projects in the UK.


    While some stocks of fresh ash are temporarily limited locally, fresh fly ash can be procured and easily transported from a number of sites across the UK and Europe. The import market in particular is growing and the industry is already benefitting from the excellent ash management skills and emerging infrastructure that exists in the UK.


    The industry is also developing stockpile supply streams. This involves making use of existing material deposited in ashfields across the UK – either from operating or decommissioned stations. Amounting to approximately 50 million tonnes of ash, there are strong opportunities to open up new supply routes. To that end, UKQAA is sponsoring a research and development project into the potential for enhancing stockpile material, and we’re confident about its potential to further boost availability.


    Ultimately, change in the materials market is nothing new, and material supply in general is becoming increasingly challenging due to the resurgence in the economy and the resulting uplift in construction activity. Fly ash will continue to play an important role in supplying high performance, low-carbon material, offering significant benefits to specifiers and designers. Ash is part of a sustainable materials mix and ultimately the marketplace can respond flexibly to change.


    Date: Feb 2016

    Recent announcements

    The UKQAA notes the recent announcements of the intention to close Rugeley Power Station and the possible closure of three units at Fiddler’s Ferry Power Station. Any closures will have an effect on the output of particular grades of fly ash and furnace bottom ash in the UK but at this stage it is not possible to gauge the full extent of any changes.


    The UKQAA will continue to strive to maximise the beneficial use of coal ashes in the UK, whether obtained directly from coal-fired units, or recovered from the many ash stockpiles sited throughout the country.


    Date: Jan 2016

    New Year, new opportunities

    With the publication of the UKQAA Ash Availability Report today, it’s clear the ash industry – and the wider construction and engineering sectors – have significant opportunities ahead. Not only has supply and demand for coal ash as a beneficial addition to construction products and materials been consistent, but research and development into its use are also driving innovation and technical ambition.


    Based on production and usage data from coal-fired power stations between 1999 and 2014, the UKQAA Ash Availability Report highlights important trends in ash availability and uptake. From steady production, to increasingly varied applications, the figures show that the ash industry has a diverse supply stream and strong potential in the alternative, low-carbon materials market.


    Set in the context of ongoing growth in the construction and engineering sectors which is affected by increased pressure on supply chains, materials shortages and stringent environmental targets, this report shows an excellent opportunity for the producers and users to exploit all sources of coal ash.


    Fly ash and furnace bottom ash are high-performance materials which are resource efficient to extract and manufacture. Both by products have low levels of embodied carbon and can significantly improve the environmental performance of construction products.


    While these benefits are clear and the market for alternative materials is widening, the challenge now is to make sure they are fully realised.