Stafford Fuels has opened a new €3m coal-production plant in New Ross, Co Wexford.

The facility is expected to produce 50,000 tonnes of smokeless fuels annually, with the capacity to double this output if required.

Specifically, smokeless ovoids – a high-heat smokeless fuel – will be produced at the high-specification plant.

The company said it is also developing a new fuel at the plant that combines biomass with traditional fuel, which reduces greenhouse gas and air emissions.

Construction at the site started early last year, and its completion creates six permanent jobs, while securing the 35 existing on-site positions.

Stafford Managing Director Andy Maher said the "significant investment" demonstrates "our commitment to operating in the South East for the long-term".

The firm operates a coal importation and wholesale coal bagging and distribution facility on a 20-acre site in New Ross and the new operation is located within the existing campus at Raheen.