| 9.6°C Belfast

Ecoventi's £50m renewable energy projects create jobs

A Co Tyrone firm is to invest £50m in renewable energy projects and create almost 30 new jobs.

Ecoventi, based in Bready outside Strabane, helps harness energy from organic waste.

The company has announced plans to build a 5 megawatt anaerobic digestion plant in the north west worth £30m, and another 15MW of smaller AD plants around Northern Ireland.

It is hoped that the larger development will create 28 new direct jobs. The jobs created include skilled manual positions, as well as hi-tech manufacturing, scientific and engineering roles. Research and Development positions have been planned also in universities and colleges as a result of this development.

Indirectly, the announcement could also create 32 new jobs in logistics, and could safeguard more than 250 jobs in the agri-food sector.

Ecoventi's activities on behalf of Northern Ireland agri-business customers has so far attracted over £25m of inward investment, including the initial design and planning activities, and helping customers secure finance for the technology, which creates energy from products like slurry and excess silage.

The end product can be used locally, or sold nationally across the electricity grid.

Biogas can also be upgraded to natural gas quality bio-methane, and sold into national gas pipelines, or refined as bio-diesel used as a lower cost vehicle fuel.

In conjunction with Cork based Ecobeet Ireland, Ecoventi have secured high energy fodder beet to supplement input to its plants. Working with Londonderry Port, the company will ship beet into the north west to keep the carbon footprint to a minimum and reduce the need for around 60 trucks on the roads.

Chris Boorman, Ecoventi director of operations, said that the firm aims to have this site operational in time for the City of Culture events in Londonderry in 2012.

"Long term, we intend to create a visitors centre to demonstrate recycling in operation and inspire the public to do more," he said.

"Our corporate mission is to establish the Island of Ireland as a net exporter of renewable energy. We hope this announcement will be the catalyst to turn waste away from landfill into affordable renewable energy to Northern Ireland and beyond."

Please log in or register with belfasttelegraph.co.uk for free access to this article.

Already have an account?