£2m backing for coal waste pellets firm Silform
A venture capital fund has announced a £2m investment in a company which converts coal waste into pellets for industry.
Silform, which has an operation in Co Tyrone, has received the funding from Bank of Ireland's Kernel Capital with private investors.
The business, which is led by Ken Flockhart, converts coal waste deposits into pellets which it says have economic value.
The funding will be used to get its plant in Ballygawley up and running. The business has 10 staff. It's now working on developing a coal pellet which can be used as in the steel industry, as well as a biocoal which can burn for longer than wood biomass pellets.
Allen Martin, partner at Kernel Capital, said it was pleased to continue its support of Silform.
"Following on from our initial investment, the company has successfully developed and patented innovative technology that has the potential to deliver significant environmental and economic returns," he said.
Paul McClurg, head of business banking in Belfast for Bank of Ireland, said the fund would help Silform sell its products: "The establishment of the pilot plant locally in Northern Ireland has massive potential to deliver a positive global environmental impact and transform industrial fuel usage and waste."
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Company chairman Mervyn McCall has also invested. He said: "Having worked with Ken and Silform Technologies for the last three years, I see the significant impact this technology could have not just locally, but also on a global scale across a number of industries, and indeed the environment.
"This funding marks a major milestone for the company which can now look to developing the technology further and enhancing the solution for specific markets."