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£100m waste energy plant will help to power Bombardier

By John Mulgrew

Published 22/03/2016

First Minister Arlene Foster and Junior Minister Jennifer McCann during a site visit with (from left) Nick Parker, chief operating officer, Equitix; Shaun Kingsbury, chief executive, UK Green Investment Bank; Mark White, partner, P3P Partners and Brett Ross, managing director, RiverRidge Recycling
First Minister Arlene Foster and Junior Minister Jennifer McCann during a site visit with (from left) Nick Parker, chief operating officer, Equitix; Shaun Kingsbury, chief executive, UK Green Investment Bank; Mark White, partner, P3P Partners and Brett Ross, managing director, RiverRidge Recycling

Work has begun on a £100m waste energy facility in east Belfast — the first large-scale development of its kind in Northern Ireland.

The giant site on the Belfast Harbour estate was unveiled by First Minister Arlene Foster and Junior Minister Jennifer McCann yesterday.

Much of the power will go towards powering Bombardier’s wing production at its base in east Belfast, where the troubled CSeries jet is part-made. The commercial and industrial waste used will help divert tonnes which would normally be destined for landfill. It’s due to be completed in 2017.

First Minister Arlene Foster said the First Circle Generation plant will be “Northern Ireland’s first large ‘energy from waste’ plant and this is an important day as we see construction begin.”

“When complete, the plant will address Bombardier’s energy needs by supplying heating and electricity to their factories and offices in their Queen’s Island site,” she said.

“This will help the company retain their global competitive edge by keeping running costs as low as possible.”

The plant is set to create 20 full-time jobs, with a further 250 during its construction.

Junior Minister Jennifer McCann said that the plant will be “one of the largest non-wind renewable projects” built in Northern Ireland to date.

The UK Green Investment Bank has committed £47m to the facility.

Its chief executive, Shaun Kingsbury, said: “This will be a world class ‘energy from waste facility’ capable of recovering much needed renewable energy, diverting waste from landfill and providing a meaningful predictive energy source for Bombardier.”

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