The Celtic Manor Resort has hit upon an environmentally friendly way of building its new practice ground for The Ryder Cup in 2010. With the facility sitting in the flood plain just over the River Usk from the first tee of the Twenty Ten course, there was a need to raise the level of the land before grassing over the driving range.
Instead of laying expensive primary aggregate with the associated cost to the environment of excavation and transportation, Celtic Manor has teamed up with energy supplier RWE npower which has provided over 150,000 tonnes of pulverised fuel ash from its Aberthaw Power Station near Barry.
The ash is an inert by-product of burning coal to generate electricity and, once compacted, forms an ideal material for construction purposes like this one. Also housing a substantial television compound, the new practice ground area completes a £16m redevelopment at Celtic Manor which also saw the new Twenty Ten course and clubhouse open in 2007.
Dylan Matthews, chief executive of Celtic Manor, said, “Hosting the Ryder Cup is not just a massive opportunity for Celtic Manor, but for the whole of Wales. It has required a lot of hard work and we have been extremely conscious of the need to find the most environmentally friendly solutions to the challenges we have faced.
“When building the new Twenty Ten golf course we were able to use earth and rock excavated from the closing holes dug into the hillside to build up the level of the land on earlier holes in the flood plain. There was no such option available for the new practice ground on the other side of the river so working with RWE npower has provided the ideal solution.
“Using ash in this way means that we can dramatically reduce the amount of aggregate that we use. This partnership is helping to deliver outstanding facilities and help the environment.”
The Celtic Manor Resort and The European Tour are already committed to making The 2010 Ryder Cup one of golf’s most environmentally sustainable events. Indigenous grasses, plants and wildlife have returned to the new Twenty Ten course since its conversion from intensive farmland, and irrigation on all three courses at Celtic Manor is 100 per cent self-sustained from the lakes and a purpose-built reservoir.
Reusing ash in projects such as this is an environmentally friendly and sustainable destination for the by-product. RWE npower has a dedicated team that investigates sustainable options for ash reuse and, in addition to Celtic Manor, the company’s ash is being used in major road building schemes and to create building products.
Clive Smith, Aberthaw Power Station manager, said, “This is an extremely exciting project. The Ryder Cup coming to Wales is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we are delighted that Aberthaw Power Station is able to play a part in its success. Reusing ash in this way also brings a number of environmental benefits – it is a real win win situation.”
James Norville at GD Environmental, which is carrying out the work, said, “This has been a great project to be involved in and it has been extremely successful. Ash is the perfect product for the job, both from an environmental and construction perspective. We are set to complete the project successfully and contribute to an outstanding sporting event.”
The Celtic Manor Resort www.celtic-manor.com