Invest NI helps Strabane company cut costs and environmental impact

Invest Northern Ireland has helped County Tyrone firm Strabane Mills Ltd to cut its fuel costs by 75% and reduce its environmental impact, by funding an interest free Carbon Trust loan of £100,000.

Strabane Mills Ltd produces pet and animal feeds by cooking and flaking maize at high temperatures. The energy-efficiency loan, funded by Invest NI through the Government’s Environment and Renewable Energy Fund, enabled the company to install a technologically advanced boiler which burns wood chips, a renewable energy source with zero carbon output.

The new boiler generates the steam required for the production process. Last year, it reduced carbon output by 283 tonnes and saved over 400,000 litres of oil.

Invest NI Chief Executive Leslie Morrison, who recently visited the company, said: “Local companies can significantly reduce their overheads and improve their profitability by becoming more energy efficient. Invest NI offers practical advice and guidance and, where possible, can facilitate a Carbon Trust Energy Efficiency loan to help them achieve this.”

Mr Morrison added: “With loans of up to £400,000 now available, the loan scheme can support the initial investment required for conversion to more efficient and environmentally friendly energy sources.”

The Carbon Trust is a UK-wide organisation funded locally by Invest NI to provide support to companies in Northern Ireland to become more competitive through energy efficiency.

Managing Director of Strabane Mills Ltd, Tim Traill is pleased with the reduction in running costs: “We are always looking at ways of reducing our overheads and with energy costs continually rising, we realised that converting to renewable energy would deliver major environmental and cost efficiencies.

“We set this process in motion with an Energy Efficiency Survey, carried out by Element Consultants and funded by Invest NI, which highlighted specific ways in which we could implement energy savings. The interest free loan from Invest NI and the Carbon Trust was a great help to us in making the transition to renewable energy.”

Mr Traill added: “Environmental considerations are becoming increasingly prominent, with new regulations being implemented all the time. By tackling our carbon output now, we are in a good position going forward and no longer need to rely on expensive and environmentally damaging fuel oil.”