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25/07/2001

B9 Energy plans to provide 200 new jobs

A Londonderry company set up six years ago to promote the use of renewable energy has announced that it has become so successful it plans to provide 200 new jobs.

Debra Jenkins, managing director of B9 Energy Biomass, which is based at the Northland Road Industrial Estate, said that it is currently talking to Ledu about its expansion plans. They currently employ six people but are planning a major expansion that will create 200 jobs over the next three years.

The company spotted a niche in the Northern Ireland market for renewable energy six years ago which coincided with a huge drive worldwide to reduce carbon monoxide levels. B9 Energy Biomass, a sister company to B9 Energy Services and B9 Energy (O&M), was then established in 1995 to develop and research biomass as a form of renewable energy.

Since then B9 Energy Biomass has been developing markets for electricity and heat from biomass in Northern Ireland and the Republic. It has also developed into selling energy conversion technology for the renewable energy sector.

The company has recently won a contract from the Peabody Trust, London’s biggest housing association, which is building a new sustainable housing and workplace development featuring energy efficient building design and green transport.

The company won a generating contract in 1996 under the Non Fossil Fuel Obligation (NFFO) to supply 200 kW of electricity to the local grid from wood fuel at the Blackwater Valley Museum in Co. Armagh.

The waste heat from this CHP unit is used for space heating at the museum. It is the first demonstration of a continuous feed, zero liquid waste, downdraft CHP unit operating on wood chips in the world.

The project was developed in partnership with Armagh City and District Council and the Blackwater Valley Museum. The plant was commissioned during 1998.

(AMcE)

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